/ One for the pro wind zealots

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Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
'What we need at this stage of the war is another futile gesture'
Peter Cook.
An appropriate opening to an appropriate article.

This Dominic Lawson says it all about the UK's futile sleepwalking into an environmental,energy supply,industrial and fuel poverty disaster.

Is is born of greed,stupidity,naivety,arrogance...you tell me ?

If the pro wind zealots READ and don't just scan the article, I'd be interested to hear them refute Lawson's observations ?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/dominic_lawson/article6719142.ece
Geoffrey Michaels on 20 Jul 2009 - cnag4.gotadsl.co.uk
In reply to Jonno:

>
> Is is born of greed,stupidity,naivety,arrogance...you tell me ?
>
The entire British system is based upon this. Until it is broken up not much will change.

DougG - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

Can I suggest as a fairer thread title "One for the pro-wind zealots, by an anti-wind zealot."
ClimberEd - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

You're never going to convert us, and we're never going to convert you. So why bother banging the drum. Especially when you are wrong ;)

The simple facts are that the UK does need to 'do it's bit' in decarbonising it's energy supply, and that wind needs to be a part of that 'bit'.

It is as blunt and simple as that.
DougG - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Donald M:

> The entire British system is based upon this. Until it is broken up not much will change.

Are you sure you posted this on the right thread, Donald?

dread-i - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
The important thing to remember about wind power, is that it annoys the daily mail brigade, so it must be good.

The wind doesn't blow all the time? Make better batteries. Check out Dinorwig hydro for details.

The towers are bolted to concrete plinths. I bet with a spanner and a wire cutter I could decommission an entire wind farm in a couple of weeks, leaving only the concrete bases. You cant do that with nuclear.

Wind is only part of the solution, just like coal or oil or nuclear are only part of the solution.

If you see this as the damming critique of wind power, then you probably need to look at the critiques of coal, oil and nuclear, not to mention geo thermal, wave and solar power. All of them have positive an negatives points.

I'm not certain what point you are making other than you don't like the look of them, which I seem to remember you have mentioned before.
tony on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

Do you actually do anything vaguely positive with all the energy you develop on your anti-wind rants, or is venting your spleen here as good as it gets?
Geoffrey Michaels on 20 Jul 2009 - cnag4.gotadsl.co.uk
In reply to DougG:

Yes I am re greed, arrogance, stupidity and naivety.

I saw the Millenium Windfarm, the one above Glen Garry / Glen Moriston yesterday and it looked quite good I thought. I might even buy shares in it.
Dom Whillans on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
there's much more to "renewables" than just wind, although the nimby attitude will no doubt prevent the likes of tidal, wave, solar and geothermal developments as well. best we can do at the moment is try out all the new generating technology whilst practising energy saving ourselves.
this was good last week...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jul/13/manchester-report-climate-change
999thAndy on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

I don't normally wade in on these threads, but it seems to me reading the article that the real villain of the piece is the emissions trading scheme. That should be stopped straight away, then we can have a long hard look at where we can get our energy from.

Incidentally has anyone else noticed China's strategy of buying up energy reserves - coal oil and gas - in other (western and developing) countries? Until that issue is resolved, we are p1ssing in the wind* trying to cap climate change.



*sorry Jonno, couldn't resist ;)
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to ClimberEd:

>
> The simple facts are that the UK does need to 'do it's bit' in decarbonising it's energy supply, and that wind needs to be a part of that 'bit'.
>
> It is as blunt and simple as that.>>

No it isn't. Milliband stated on the very day he was having his 'Martin Luther King moment' that he was committed to the UK air industry. He wanted to keep flying affordable to the masses.Furthermore,Brown's mob, like every other government in the world is committed to continual 'economic growth'. The only truly green economy is a sustainable
economy.

If the UK's Co2 emissions fall it will be by default. Through massive industrial collapse and hence huge unemployment and millions of families being unable to heat their home adequately through their fuel poverty.

Very green...very progressive !

jkarran - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

I'll just copy and paste my response to your previous venting:

> If you're so passionately anti turbine then why don't you get yourself elected or join a credible pressure group rather than raging impotently on the internet? It'd save us all reading the same rehashed thread over and over again and you might actually make a difference.
> jk

The article is interesting, probably makes some fair points (I'm no expert so I'll take it at face value) but it's not exactly balanced or especially damning.

jk
ClimberEd - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

No, you are being emotive about what I have written.
Don't complicate things.

This isn't about what is best for the uk, fuel poverty or any other issues - it is about the two facts that I have written in my original post. I don't really care about Brown, Milliband, Martin Luther King, who is in government or unemployment. It's about decarbonising our electricity production.

(you can build energy security into that as well if you want)
winhill - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
>
> If the pro wind zealots READ and don't just scan the article, I'd be interested to hear them refute Lawson's observations ?

Bloody hell, it's hardly a tour de force is it?

You don't need to be a zealot of any sort to refute a Civitas press release, just possess a modicum of logic and the ability to undertake comparative analysis, are you really convinced by this?

Just to consider his example of Anglesey Aluminium, the company has been negotiating for three years for a new energy contract, and announced the likely closure in January, all well before Milliband had anything to say.

The plant itself is 20 years beyond its' 25 year original design life and has been milked as a cash cow by various owners, rather than having been updated to make it more competitve and less reliant on the vagaries of energy prices. Even the government offer of £48M wasn't enough to persuade the current owners from moving production elsewhere and there is no causal connection between this and wind power.

Lawson makes his political point about subsidy, which will trigger a knee jerk response from his right wing audience but ignores the subsidy already paid to other energy producers and ignores the future cost of those subsidies, as yet unquantified.

johnSD on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to 999thAndy:
> it seems to me reading the article that the real villain of the piece is the emissions trading scheme. That should be stopped straight away, then we can have a long hard look at where we can get our energy from.

That's because the article is flawed and displays little understanding of emissions trading beyond the usual ignorant scare stories. Yes, there have been flaws in its inception and early stages, and those flaws did damage its effectiveness at cutting emissions. But those flaws have largely been ironed out and the system has been massively reformed, and by 2020 unavoidable, significant cuts will have been made by it. In truth it is the fairest and most efficient way to cut emissions, and the quicker it is rolled out globally the better.

And as to 'carbon leakage' caused by industry emigrating - they are rattling sabres, and are probably more interested in cheaper foreign labour costs than cheaper foreign energy.

Morgan Woods - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

cheers for digging that up....something smelled very wrong with Milibland's big announcement which this article confirms.
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to winhill:

Interesting though that in a free market economy,the laws of supply and demand are suspended to promote an inefficient,land hungry and expensive form of electricity production.
Not that it tells the whole story of course. Wind power is a convenient fig leaf to hide this governments pathetic environmental failings and smacks of a grand vanity project. The consequences of which will be felt,as usual,by the poorest members of society.

Reminds me very much in character and concept of the Treweryn dam project in N Wales in the early sixties. With Liverpool's population in freefall from a high of 900.000 to the 450.000 population today and with its heavy industry and shipping industry similarly declining apace. Another futile grand project was unveiled. Let's flood a Welsh valley and destroy a living community to supply water to a fast diminishing market.
The grey waters of Llyn Celyn bears witness to the stupidity, shortsightedness and vanity of politicians.
dread-i - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to winhill:
>Just to consider his example of Anglesey Aluminium, the company has been negotiating for three years for a new energy contract...

The plant is just down the road from the Wylfa nuclear station. I did the tour of the nuke plant and they said that AA was their biggest single customer. They have direct access to a nuclear station, have a look at the pylons carrying the cables. So if AA go under then it is more the fault of the nuclear energy sector. That limitless clean power, is actually not limitless after all.

If there was more capacity in the grid, then energy prices might be lower. More likely is that there are less strict emissions and labour laws in the third world so the jobs will be exported.
ClimberEd - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

Jonno - please go and read 'Without Hot Air'
http://www.withouthotair.com/

(free, including a summary if you can't be bothered with the whole thing)

I think you'll find his approach refreshing, you'll probably even agree with it.

And in regard to wind, again, you are looking at it from totally the wrong perspective if you think that unemployment, the poorest members of society and valleys matter.
Morgan Woods - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to dread-i:
> (In reply to Jonno)
> >
> Wind is only part of the solution, just like coal or oil or nuclear are only part of the solution.
>
>
Surely the single best form of energy is the solution, not some sort of grab bag. Have you been listening to the propaganda issued by the oil (sorry energy) companies who spin the same line?
MJH - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> If the pro wind zealots READ and don't just scan the article, I'd be interested to hear them refute Lawson's observations ?

Where do you start???

Perhaps the most laughable point is the point that the UK is only 2% of global emissions so by implication there is little point in us reducing our emissions while China/India/Brazil etc increase theirs. We grew our economies through the use of cheap fossil fuels, how can we seriously say to other countries that they need to reduce their emissions if we are not prepared to reduce our own?

Renewables is not just wind.

Energy prices will rise with or without renewables as fossil fuels become scarcer.

Intermittency of wind is reduced the more you have. Yes there will still be times when there is little wind, but no one (except perhaps you) is suggesting it should be wind or nothing.

It is hardly surprising that the EIUG is squealing, but at the same time some of their members have not exactly been pro-active about sorting out long term energy needs (there is a lot more that they could have done, but it is mostly undone by short term narrow-minded thinking).
MJH - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to dread-i:
> The plant is just down the road from the Wylfa nuclear station. I did the tour of the nuke plant and they said that AA was their biggest single customer. They have direct access to a nuclear station, have a look at the pylons carrying the cables. So if AA go under then it is more the fault of the nuclear energy sector. That limitless clean power, is actually not limitless after all.

What bizarre logic - how is it the fault of Wylfa if AA has failed to replace it as an energy source? It is hardly news that Wylfa is closing!
dread-i - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
>Interesting though that in a free market economy,the laws of supply and demand are suspended to promote an inefficient,land hungry and expensive form of electricity production

So has nuclear had any subsidies?

How about if they put the towers out at sea, so that they couldn't be seen. Would you be happy then? They could also be used to stop these foreign johnnies stealing our fish by making marine exclusion zones. We save the planet, promote energy security and your traditional fish and chips.
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to MJH:

As always it will be the poorest members of society- not middle class metropolitans-who will pay the price through unemployment and fuel poverty of what is at the end of the day,an experiment.

No consolation that the results of this experiment are starkly self evident.
tony on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to MJH)
>
> As always it will be the poorest members of society- not middle class metropolitans-who will pay the price through unemployment and fuel poverty of what is at the end of the day,an experiment.
>
As always, it will be the poorest members of the global society - not middle-class western democracies - who will pay the price through flooding, drought, displacement, water wars of the huge atmospheric experiment we are leading with our CO2 emissions.

What are you doing to stop it happening?
dread-i - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Morgan Woods:
>Surely the single best form of energy is the solution, not some sort of grab bag.

Surely the best solution is a mixed range of sources. Coal and oil are on the decline and wind and wave are on the ascendant. We can turn off the nuke or coal or oil stations tomorrow but the renewable sources don't have the capacity to take up the slack. So we need to build renewable to such a point that when these legacy stations reach end of life there is a solution already in place.

>Have you been listening to the propaganda issued by the oil (sorry energy) companies who spin the same line?

I always listen to propaganda, but possibly not for the reasons that it was intended for.

johnSD on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

I think there is a simple solution to this that should keep the NIMBY's happy (well most of them anyway). What we need to do is completely ban new windfarm development from all areas of the country except for one sacrificial region. Since it is pretty much central in the UK, equidistant from most centres of population, I say that north Wales would be ideal for this. We cover every hectare of the area with wind turbines - providing plenty of employment to the locals and probably attracting wind turbine construction to the area as it will be a guaranteed market - and economies of scale will drive down the price. That way everybody wins.
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to Jonno)
> [...]
> As always, it will be the poorest members of the global society - not middle-class western democracies - who will pay the price through flooding, drought, displacement, water wars of the huge atmospheric experiment we are leading with our CO2 emissions.
>
> What are you doing to stop it happening?>>>

That is nothing more than an asinine Greenpeace sound bite without a smidgen of fact or truth. Why don't you add soaring symbols of free clean green electricity !

MJH - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno: But that doesn't answer my point that energy prices will rise whatever fuel mix we have (renewables or fossil fuel).

It is all very well complaining about renewables being an expensive vanity experiment, but in 10 years time when gas prices have rocketed (again) it might not look so clever.

As I said to you on one of your recent rants, fuel poverty is a massive issue but don't use it as a smokescreen for inaction on our energy mix.
dread-i - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to MJH:
>...how is it the fault of Wylfa if AA has failed to replace it as an energy source?
Perhaps you need to reread my statement, along with the promises of limitless clean power that nuclear was meant to provide.
ads.ukclimbing.com
MJH - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Morgan Woods:

> Surely the single best form of energy is the solution, not some sort of grab bag.

In the long run perhaps, but in the medium term we have no choice but to go for a sensible spread of technologies.
tony on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to tony)
> [...]
>
> That is nothing more than an asinine Greenpeace sound bite without a smidgen of fact or truth. Why don't you add soaring symbols of free clean green electricity !

There's plenty of truth there, and you know it. I'm not flying any flag for wind turbines. Global warming needs to be addressed. There will be major displacements of disadvantaged populations around the world. Dominic Lawson prefers not to think about poor people around the world (and nor, it would seem, do you), and seems to think that business as usual is fine. It's not, and burying your head in the sand is a nice cosy rich Western luxury.

But, since you're obviously not convinced, I'll ask again - what are you doing about any of it - the stuff you care about?
alanw - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to all: Can someone explain to me why we have this thing called 'fuel poverty'. We dont have 'food poverty' or 'keep a roof over my head poverty'. There is poverty, pure and simple, which must be dealt with as best we can but why hamper national energy policy with such an artificial concept set at an arbitrary level (why 10% of income and not 9% or 11%).
ClimberEd - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to tony)
> [...]
>
> That is nothing more than an asinine Greenpeace sound bite without a smidgen of fact or truth. Why don't you add soaring symbols of free clean green electricity !

Green electricity isn't free, and no one ever said it was. It's expensive due to the investment costs required.
MJH - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to dread-i: Well you said it was more the fault of the nuclear sector than AA.

On the limitless clean power - I assume you are making some poor attempt to claim that the nuclear sector made this claim 40 years ago. Quite what that has to do with the specific closure of Wylfa???
DougG - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

"As always, it will be the poorest members of the global society - not middle-class western democracies - who will pay the price through flooding, drought, displacement, water wars of the huge atmospheric experiment we are leading with our CO2 emissions."

> That is nothing more than an asinine Greenpeace sound bite without a smidgen of fact or truth.

Leaving aside the point that of all the people on this entire forum, you are probably the least well placed to accuse others of coming up with "asinine sound-bites" , which sections of global society do you think will suffer most from Climate Change? Royalty?

tony on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to DougG:
>
> Leaving aside the point that of all the people on this entire forum, you are probably the least well placed to accuse others of coming up with "asinine sound-bites" , which sections of global society do you think will suffer most from Climate Change? Royalty?

You're making the mistaken assumption that Jonno gives a shit about anyone but himself.
dread-i - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to MJH:
>On the limitless clean power - I assume you are making some poor attempt to claim that the nuclear sector made this claim 40 years ago.

Yes, you are correct and it has nothing to do with the specific closure if Wylfa. The Anglesea Aluminium example quoted in the linked article was a red herring thrown in by Lawson to make a point about energy usage. I expect that AA were told a good while ago that Wylfa is closing and that they have used the time to press for subsidies whilst looking for other locations.

The nuclear industry has a new poster boy for the next 40 years. Nuclear fusion is the new, clean, limitless power source. Apart from the fact that it doesn't work yet. Wind, water and solar have been used as clean power sources for the last couple of thousand years and do work, so we should be expanding those areas.
tony on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to dread-i:locations.
>
> The nuclear industry has a new poster boy for the next 40 years. Nuclear fusion is the new, clean, limitless power source. Apart from the fact that it doesn't work yet. Wind, water and solar have been used as clean power sources for the last couple of thousand years and do work, so we should be expanding those areas.

Fusion was the new poster boy at least 30 years ago when I was doing my physics degree. At that time, it was about 30 years away from commercial use, or so we were told ...
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to tony:

>
> But, since you're obviously not convinced, I'll ask again - what are you doing about any of it - the stuff you care about?>>

For one thing,I continue to express the conservationist viewpoint on forums like this. Pointing out the many inherent flaws in UK and indeed European energy policy. Not least their over reliance on a pretty archaic way of producing expensive electricity through wind turbines.
I have no problem with thousands of River Cottage style wind turbines in rural areas or larger ones at places like Seaforth Container Terminal on the Mersey. It's the industrial scale application in our wild inland and coastal areas that I find futile and ecologically destructive.

My 'BIG' theme is energy conservation. We could avoid covering our hills with wind farms if we tackled the 40% of energy produced that is wasted.I'm minded of one of the many government inconsistencies by its current car scrappage allowance. Surely a 'green' policy which would save Co2 emissions and provide work would be to encourage people to run their motors for as long as possible. Thus avoiding unnecessary production,use of finite resources and the creation of a scrap mountain. Thousands more jobs would be created in car maintenance although admittedly, jobs would go in production. Good..let the market find its level and produce what's needed. It's hardly green encouraging production and waste but then again,that's why the governments alternative energy strategy is hot air. It's main goal is economic growth through production and consumption.

ClimberEd - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to tony:

Isn't that 30years on a continually rolling basis ;).

Having said that, I saw a very good programme about fusion a few months ago and they looked at the different leaders and thought it 'may' be closer now...
DougG - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> For one thing,I continue to express the conservationist viewpoint on forums like this.

That's bound to make a difference.

> Pointing out the many inherent flaws in UK and indeed European energy policy.

Maybe you should consider working for one of the relevant policy-making bodies. Hell, why settle for that - maybe you could even run one of them.
tony on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> [...]
>
> For one thing,I continue to express the conservationist viewpoint on forums like this. Pointing out the many inherent flaws in UK and indeed European energy policy. Not least their over reliance on a pretty archaic way of producing expensive electricity through wind turbines.

So you view forums as a useful way of affecting goverment policy? I admire your optimism, but can't help thinking that you might do better than follow Dominic Lawson quite so slavishly.
>
> My 'BIG' theme is energy conservation. We could avoid covering our hills with wind farms if we tackled the 40% of energy produced that is wasted.

With you on energy conservation, but you still don't seem to have grasped the notion that it's not one thing or another. We're going to need huge efforts in energy conservation as well as low-carbon electricity.
MJH - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> Pointing out the many inherent flaws in UK and indeed European energy policy. Not least their over reliance on a pretty archaic way of producing expensive electricity through wind turbines.
> I have no problem with thousands of River Cottage style wind turbines in rural areas or larger ones at places like Seaforth Container Terminal on the Mersey. It's the industrial scale application in our wild inland and coastal areas that I find futile and ecologically destructive.

Nothing at all contradictory in promoting small scale inefficient turbines whilst championing efficiency or promoting thousands of river cottage turbines in rural areas whilst objecting to application in wild inland and coastal areas (at what point does it go from being acceptable to unacceptable in the Jonno mind?).
eroica64 - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno: This is a point about wind farms generally. I don't suppose any of us go to the mountains to see wind farms. Ones at Corwen can be seen from the summit of Snowdfon in Wales. Imagine the Scottish highland covered with wind turbines. Imagine being on top of Suilven, Seana Braigh, wherever and seeing wind farms.

I don't see how blighting the visual environment equates to saving the environment. Acres of wind farms on Scottish Highlands will be a disaster. Any wind farms on the highlands would be dreadful.

Chris.
Lemony - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to eroica64: Why are you so much more worried about windfarms than the myriad other signs of human occupation?
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
It's amazing to me how many obviously intelligent people on UKC can't see the wood for trees and just accept at face value an all too obvious ill conceived energy strategy from a discredited government.

Let me put it this way. We have a government which is committed to the free market and furthermore has to carry out EU legislation. The UK population is growing and predicted to rise to 80 million by 2050. That's 80 million people clogging the roads,clogging the skies,powering up their TV's,showers,lights,ovens etc.It's obvious that the problem is not to be solved or even partly alleviated by a silly sound bite or an energy policy conceived on the back of a beer mat.
Too many people consuming too much. As Schumacher pointed out in 'Small is Beautiful', An economic policy based on continue economic growth is incompatible with sustainability and conservation.

The government wants it both ways. It wants to persuade us that we can have economic growth for ever AND reduce Co2 emmissions. And this with an out of control rising population of consumers !!!!!

It's like putting a fire out by spitting on it.
i.munro - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to eroica64:

So as I understand it you wish to 'preserve' the Highlands while encouraging climate change.
I take it from this that that what you wish to preserve is the visual appearance only.
So, what plants are you going to use to replace the current vegatation cover & how are you going to put them in place?
I take it you've got a pretty large team because you're going to have to keep repeating the process at increasingly frequent intervals.
Or perhaps you were just intending to paint the bare rock green? I guess it would look pretty convincing from a distance.
Bruce Hooker - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> It's amazing to me how many obviously intelligent people on UKC can't see the wood for trees...

Or rather can't see the woods for the wind farms!

You're right on this one, but sheep are not well known for going against the herd instinct... and wind farms put money in the pockets of quite a few pseudo-ecologists, farmers, land owners, local councils etc. Greased palms, like empty vessels, make a lot of noise.

There's no money to be made out of a responsible population policy, and it hits a lot of vested interests, religious bigotry and general PC platitude pushers.
DougG - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> It's amazing to me how many obviously intelligent people on UKC can't see the wood for trees...

It amazes me that you can think that all the obvious points you make (population growth, increased consumption of resources, etc.) aren't also blindingly obvious to most other people too.
DougG - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> but sheep are not well known for going against the herd instinct

Flock instinct, I think you'll find.

Of course, some people just fall over themselves to try to present themselves as independent, free-thinking types. Often thereby missing the wood and the trees.
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Further to this herd like instinct and terror of being seen of as an outsider is a unique form of urban imperialism. This metropolitan mindset sees no hypocrisy or contradiction in telling the country bumpkins that they HAVE to accept government policy because it's for the common good.
The term 'Nimby' has to the most lazy and ill thought out insult imaginable.

We will industrialize your local environment because we can.....just about sums it up.
DougG - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

Are you having a competition with yourself to see how many straw men arguments you can construct in a single post?
dread-i - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
>We will industrialize your local environment because we can.....just about sums it up.

You didn't answer my point about off shore wind farms. If they are beyond the horizon and can also be used as marine ecology zones would they be acceptable?
jkarran - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> It's amazing to me how many obviously intelligent people on UKC can't see the wood for trees and just accept at face value an all too obvious ill conceived energy strategy from a discredited government.

Or perhaps they've thought about it for themselves and have come to different conclusions to you?

I presume your proposed strategy (not conceived on the back of a beer mat of course) would involve building new, cheap generating capacity but obviously (for sound technical reasons) not in sight of of your preferred beauty spots?

> Let me put it this way. We have a government which is committed to the free market and furthermore has to carry out EU legislation. The UK population is growing and predicted to rise to 80 million by 2050. That's 80 million people clogging the roads,clogging the skies,powering up their TV's,showers,lights,ovens etc.It's obvious that the problem is not to be solved or even partly alleviated by a silly sound bite or an energy policy conceived on the back of a beer mat.

I fail to see how a growing population is an argument against wind power. You might need to step us through the logic that gets you there.

> Too many people consuming too much. As Schumacher pointed out in 'Small is Beautiful', An economic policy based on continue economic growth is incompatible with sustainability and conservation.

Good luck with your new crofting venture then. Oh... your not putting your money where your mouth is?

> The government wants it both ways. It wants to persuade us that we can have economic growth for ever AND reduce Co2 emmissions. And this with an out of control rising population of consumers !!!!!
> It's like putting a fire out by spitting on it.

On this we're agreed. Unfortunately that's just human nature and has nothing to do with windmills.

jk
jkarran - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to jkarran:

> Good luck with your new crofting venture then. Oh... your not putting your money where your mouth is?

Curses. By your I obviously meant you're.
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to i.munro:
> (In reply to eroica64)
>
> So as I understand it you wish to 'preserve' the Highlands while encouraging climate change.
> I take it from this that that what you wish to preserve is the visual appearance only.
> So, what plants are you going to use to replace the current vegatation cover & how are you going to put them in place?
> I take it you've got a pretty large team because you're going to have to keep repeating the process at increasingly frequent intervals.
> Or perhaps you were just intending to paint the bare rock green? I guess it would look pretty convincing from a distance.>>


So you're an expert in North European uplands ecology are you ? It's interesting that you are offering as fact an ecological future which is subject to a multitude of variables. Are you sure the Highland fawna and flora will disappear IF the temperatures rise by 2o ?
What if the rise is less or not at all. Are you predicting Glencoe resembling some sort of dusty tundra ?

I presume you can point me at a site which bears out your statements ?


DougG - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> So you're an expert in North European uplands ecology are you ?

Are you?
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to DougG:
> (In reply to Jonno)
>
> [...]
>
> Are you?

Are you ? Point is, no one can predict with any degree of accuracy the impact..if any..of global warming on a specific geographical ecosystem.


Steve Perry - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

http://www.bwea.com/ukwed/index.asp

2 million+ homes now powered by wind, cutting 4 million+ tons p/a of CO2, I'm pro wind!
ads.ukclimbing.com
Eric9Points - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
It's obvious that the problem is not to be solved or even partly alleviated by a silly sound bite or an energy policy conceived on the back of a beer mat.

I agree, I think you should write out an energy policy that covers at least ten sides of A4. I'm too polite to comment on the quality of your sound bites.

By the way, would I be correct in thinking that you'd support the Government's plans for the construction of 6 new "Eco Towns" in the South of England? I guess it's exactly sort of thing the Government should be encouraging?
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to Steve Perry:
> (In reply to Jonno)
>
> http://www.bwea.com/ukwed/index.asp
>
> 2 million+ homes now powered by wind, cutting 4 million+ tons p/a of CO2, I'm pro wind!>>>

Nice site.No...hidden agendas there then. Can you give me the link to The Conservative Party while you're at it. Just want to check that they're pro Tory.

Eric9Points - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to i.munro)

> So you're an expert in North European uplands ecology are you ? It's interesting that you are offering as fact an ecological future which is subject to a multitude of variables. Are you sure the Highland fawna and flora will disappear IF the temperatures rise by 2o ?
>

You might be interested to know that I badly mauled in Lewis this Summer, and again around Cape Wrath by a species of deer fly that only appeared two years ago in the far North.

Things are already changing. The trouble is that most of us live in cities and don't come in contact with nature enough to see it happening.


i.munro - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

The point I was trying to make (heard of sarcasm?) is that you seem to imagine that the uplands are somehow going to be immune to the coming catastrophe.

In fact as an already damaged & fragile ecosystem it's probably most vulnerable.

Actually my bet would be that as climate change pushes food prices higher & higher & low lying land is lost to flooding some bright spark is going to realise that the UK can't afford to waste good farm land under roads & cities & will start looking for unproductive land to house the refugees.

As for 2deg forecasts now seem to be in for well over that if we stop burning fossil fuels now. If we continue, as you seem to want, then so will temperature rise. It's not a step change but a continuous process.
johnSD on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
>
> Are you ? Point is, no one can predict with any degree of accuracy the impact..if any..of global warming on a specific geographical ecosystem.

Yes they can. If you can predict changes in patterns of temperature and rainfall, then you can predict where and when habitat zones will shift. It's not rocket science... Hell, it's not even climate science. The forestry commission, for example, have models for shifts in tree habitat zones under different climate change scenarios.
Steve Perry - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to Steve Perry)
> [...]
>
Can you give me the link to The Conservative Party while you're at it.

There ya go Jonno

http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1030000/images/_1034317_thatcher150.jpg

jkarran - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> (In reply to Steve Perry)
> Nice site.No...hidden agendas there then.

No, surely their agenda is quite clearly stated on the 'about us' page http://www.bwea.com/about/index.html

jk
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to i.munro:
> (In reply to Jonno)
>
> The point I was trying to make (heard of sarcasm?) is that you seem to imagine that the uplands are somehow going to be immune to the coming catastrophe.>>>

That's deffo is it.The 'coming catastrophe' that is ?

> In fact as an already damaged & fragile ecosystem it's probably most vulnerable.>>

Is it ? the great forests have mostly gone and the ecology is different from what it was a few hundred years ago but is it really 'most vulnerable' ?

> Actually my bet would be that as climate change pushes food prices higher & higher & low lying land is lost to flooding some bright spark is going to realise that the UK can't afford to waste good farm land under roads & cities & will start looking for unproductive land to house the refugees.>>

What bet is this...A Nick Griffin type bet ?


> As for 2deg forecasts now seem to be in for well over that if we stop burning fossil fuels now. If we continue, as you seem to want, then so will temperature rise. It's not a step change but a continuous process.>>

Again, an unproven hypothesis .

Really...Greenpeace and FOE remind me more and more of a Monty Python-esque sketch on some obscure religious cult.... If ye don't eat cabbage on a Wednesday ye will be Doomed to the fires of hell !

Eric9Points - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Eric9Points:

I see you and Dominic seem to be in a minority anyway. For those that missed it Dominic was trying to attack the Government's new energy strategy, you'll find details of it here:

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2009/07/uk-announces-long-term-carbon-reduction...

Here's a quick summary from the article:

"Among key points of the Low Carbon Transition Plan are a huge increase in employment in the low-carbon sector, energy efficiency measures in buildings and transport and an increase in low-carbon power. As envisaged, the plan will see:

* More than 1.2 million people in green jobs
* 7 million homes enjoying pay-as-you-save home-energy makeovers, and more than 1.5 million households supported to produce their own clean energy
* 40% of electricity will be from low carbon sources, from renewables, nuclear and clean coal
* The average new car will emit 40% less carbon than now."


..so there's a bit more there than would fit on the back of a beer mat and it does seem to cover quite a lot about conservation which you see, quite rightly, as important.

The renewable energy forum seemed quite keen on the announcement:

"The UK Renewable Energy Association said that “while delivery will be the crucial test, and concerns remain, the announcements made today undoubtedly demonstrate a step-change in political leadership that is desperately needed to ensure renewables can tackle the serious threats of UK energy security and climate change.”"

Anyway, why not ask people to debate the whole energy strategy rather than posting a biased article from a Tory who wants to sling mud at the Government and talking a lot of rubbish about Government policy.
i.munro - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

That was refugees from E Anglia. Not really Griffin's thing

As there's only one way to 'prove' the hypothesis I'd rather it remained unproved.(actually a single experiment wouldn't constitute scientific proof you'd need quite a few spare planets )
johnSD on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Eric9Points:
> Anyway, why not ask people to debate the whole energy strategy rather than posting a biased article from a Tory who wants to sling mud at the Government and talking a lot of rubbish about Government policy.

Because that would be approaching the subject rationally and with an open mind...
Steve Perry - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to johnSD:
> (In reply to Eric9Points)
> [...]
>
> Because that would be approaching the subject rationally and with an open mind...

Nice one.
toad - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

>
> Is it ? the great forests have mostly gone and the ecology is different from what it was a few hundred years ago but is it really 'most vulnerable' ?
>
>Yes. Yes, it is. And the "great forest" description doesn't really apply to the blanket bog habitat of much of the upland areas. And, yes. an average 2 degree rise will have a serious adverse effect on these habitats.

Frankly I'd post more as I was at an interesting conference about some of these matters in Newcastle a couple of weeks ago, but you aren't interested, so I can't be bothered trying to correct you.
Bella - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno: Whether anyone agrees with climate change theories or not, oil and coal based fuels are decreasing and becoming more expensive. I'm not pro-wind and I don't agree with the whole of the UK government's policy on renewables.

But when someone asked in an earlier post what you were doing personally to change things - your reply was that you post on here to 'educate' people (or something like that). It's easy to tell everyone what energy policy should or shouldn't be. It's easy to get wound up with pro or anti wind arguments. It's easy to quote facts and figures about climate change.

But what is more difficult for people to do, is to walk instead of taking the car. Cycle instead of driving. Forgo that new sofa for another 5 years (because the old one is fine, actually). Forgo the new outfit and use the one you wore to a previous wedding (noone will actually notice). Wash the dishes 3 times a week instead of every day. Lots of simple, relatively small things, that are a bit of an inconvience and that mean living our lifestyles differently from the way that we do now. That is what I don't see happening and what I don't see many people promoting.
tony on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Bella:
> But what is more difficult for people to do, is to walk instead of taking the car. Cycle instead of driving. Forgo that new sofa for another 5 years (because the old one is fine, actually). Forgo the new outfit and use the one you wore to a previous wedding (noone will actually notice). Wash the dishes 3 times a week instead of every day. Lots of simple, relatively small things, that are a bit of an inconvience and that mean living our lifestyles differently from the way that we do now. That is what I don't see happening and what I don't see many people promoting.

It's a nice idea to imagine that those kind of actions would make a difference, but ultimately, it's major infrastructure projects which will determine emissions - we might be able to reduce our own emissions by a few % by taking the actions you suggest, but if our electricity is still generated using coal as the fuel, we still have a big problem. Only the government can manipulate the market in order to render high-carbon electricity as the expensive option. Until carbon costs are fully addressed within the commissioning of generation capacity, we're going to have high-carbon electricity. Similarly, only Government can enforce efficiency measures such as CHP. Without that, we're still going to be chucking away at least half the available energy in fossil fuels.

One area in which lifestyle choices could make a significant difference would be transport. Far too many miles are driven in cars in order to get to work and in sending freight around the country. Again, this needs to be discouraged - public transport needs to be better and cheaper, long commutes need to be discouraged, rail freight needs to be made easier and cheaper.
MJH - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to tony: Have you been following the "eco-towns" stuff? I haven't but I am fairly surprised that there has been no mention of CHP and district heating networks.
tony on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to MJH:
> (In reply to tony) Have you been following the "eco-towns" stuff? I haven't but I am fairly surprised that there has been no mention of CHP and district heating networks.

Not really been following that stuff, but I'm not surprised there's no mention of CHP. It just doesn't appear to feature on the radar at all - I don't if it's down to the housebuilders saying it's too difficult or what, but it's pretty scandalous that eco-towns can be considered without it.
MJH - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to tony: There seems to be a mindset within the UK that CHP can only provide heat for industrial processes. The problem then being to find an industrial site that wants to invest in CHP - I am aware of waste management companies offering to pay for waste derived fuels to be used in CHP plants and there still being little uptake from industrial users eg paper mills. The industrial side is starting to change with Inneos Chlor's plans for a waste CHP facility in Runcorn (assuming it is ever built).
tony on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to MJH:
> (In reply to tony) There seems to be a mindset within the UK that CHP can only provide heat for industrial processes.

ah, that would explain that particular piece of short-sightedness. How very frustrating.
LG - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

So much already said. I am generally very sceptical about green polacy that is either flawed or just plainly not the most green solution, but the author of this article has very little credability left after he makes the comments saying that the UK should not bother doing anything because we only contribute 2%.

I struggled on and the whole article presents a very one sided argument - case in point where it claims that no existing power stations have been closed following Germanys investment in wind power. That may be true, but there has been a significant reduced output from these plants.

B.
MJH - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to LG:
> I struggled on and the whole article presents a very one sided argument - case in point where it claims that no existing power stations have been closed following Germanys investment in wind power. That may be true, but there has been a significant reduced output from these plants.

Exactly, which in turn reduces emissions.

Dominic Lawson must be adopting his dad's positions on climate change. I wonder what Nigella thinks...<tongue firmly in cheek>
alanw - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to all: As an aside, I thought I might point people in the direction of an interesting new site (as pointed out in a Guardian article) which shows the carbon intensity of the electricity system in real time: http://realtimecarbon.org/

If we're to decarbonise the economy while maintaining a decent standard of living this is one of the most crucial measures. Get this significantly reduced and move some of the heat and transport load to electricity and we might have a chance.

In terms of this thread, the question is whether or not wind is able to contribute to reducing the carbon intensity in a meaningful way and the answer would only come from a detailed assessment of the data over a number of years. Unfortunately we don't have the luxury of time, we need to act now and at least try to install low carbon generation while monitoring the results. But this site could give some interesting indications, particularly on very still or very windy days.
dread-i - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to MJH:
>Dominic Lawson must be adopting his dad's positions on climate change

I though you were joking, sadly not.

"His argument boils down to two parts: climate change is not the threat we believe and efforts to stop it are doomed and dangerous. Everyone who says otherwise is either lying or ill-informed."

All sounds very familiar.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/may/03/climatechange.greenpolitics


>I wonder what Nigella thinks.
Should than be 'if' rather than 'what'?

i.munro - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to dread-i:

> "His argument boils down to two parts: climate change is not the threat > we believe and efforts to stop it are doomed and dangerous.

I think you credit him with too much.

During the course of this thread (including the link in the OP) the Op has claimed that

the govt response is inadequate "like spitting on a fire"
but also that climate change is an unproved theory

that the UK lags far behind the rest of Europe
"if you do take as a measure of such commitment the proportion of domestic energy already supplied by renewables, the UK occupies 25th place in the European Union league table, above only Malta and Luxembourg."
but that EU regulations are the problem.

I think his argument is simply that only Tories should be in power..
just because


Timmd on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:A relative is an engineer and get's to speak to other engineers from different fields of engineering (and believes the science about climate change by the way), and a while ago they mentioned that the gear boxes on wind turbines are currently wearing out too quickly, which results in turbines not producing enough energy to make up for the enegy of them being built. Technology is always progressing so this could stop being a factor quite soon, but it might be something worth looking at in more detail when thinking about which renewable energy to use. Geothermal and wave power and tidal power can all be used in the uk, and there's a lot still to be done to cut the amount of energy being wasted.

Just thought i'd add something else to the mix.

Cheers
Tim
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
As expected,those from the UKC pro wind fraternity haven't really answered the main points addressed in Lawson's article.
Not surprising as they are coming at it generally from an urban middle class perspective.
Milliband optimistically says electricity prices will have to rise by at least 17%. Another source says 55%. Either way,millions more will be thrown into fuel poverty. I realise that most contributors on here will not have to make a decision....supper or another bar on the electric fire ?...but those decisions are real for millions in the UK.

Expensive electricity will contribute to the further erosion of production in the UK.As if it wasn't bad enough! Another million on the dole. Not a problem of course if you're not an unskilled factory worker. Which most of those who swallow the governments guff on here clearly are not.

What about the German example. Massive subsidies to the wind industry and no reduction in emissions...tut tut !

It's not just Tories like Lawson who point out the futile lunacy of government energy policy.People like Neil Kinnock and Kim Howells have offered the same over view.
i.munro - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

Will you make up your mind what your point is!

Is the govt (or any govt) doing enough to tackle climate change?- Clearly not.

Is the govt to be encouraged in those steps it is finally taking. - Yes

Is the govt doing enough to tackle poverty - No

Is this connected to the energy supply issue in any way - No
DougG - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> Not surprising as they are coming at it generally from an urban middle class perspective.

You really are full of it. Sorry, but you are.
alanw - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno: Dealing with the Germany question, a quick search gave this: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/tre_reg_ger.html

To quote - 'Fossil-fuel emissions of CO2 from unified Germany have declined 20.6% since 1990 to 220 million metric tons of carbon in 2006. The 2006 per capita emission estimate of 2.67 metric tons of carbon is comparable to 1950s levels.'

How much effort did you make to check the figures in the article or did you just accept them as they support your cause?

On fuel poverty, I asked earlier why we have the term fuel poverty. As far as I can see there is poverty and it's that which must be addressed. The fact is the days of cheap energy are coming to an end and there is little we can do about that.
tony on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> As expected,those from the UKC pro wind fraternity haven't really answered the main points addressed in Lawson's article.
> Not surprising as they are coming at it generally from an urban middle class perspective.
> Milliband optimistically says electricity prices will have to rise by at least 17%. Another source says 55%.

Don't overlook the possibility that no-one really knows. Part of the unknown will come from the degree of subsidies required by the nuclear industry and the clean-coal generators.

Electricity prices need to go up, to stop us wasting so much.
ads.ukclimbing.com
johnSD on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> Either way,millions more will be thrown into fuel poverty.

Millions more than what? You do know that the price of fossil fuels will rise as well, particularly if demand is not reduced by replacement technology. Do you think reliance on Russian gas will elevate people out of fuel poverty? How about reopening out mines? That sounds cheap....

> Expensive electricity will contribute to the further erosion of production in the UK.As if it wasn't bad enough! Another million on the dole.

What happened to market forces sorting that out? You're happy enough to let car manufacturers fail and their employees go out of work - what have you got against them in particular? I take it you are also against the minimum wage, employment laws and trade unions, as all of these have "forced" industry away from this country as well.

> What about the German example. Massive subsidies to the wind industry and no reduction in emissions...tut tut !

Tut tut, but utter bollocks. German emissions in 2008 were 22.5% below those in 1990, meaning that they reached their Kyoto protocol target 4 years early. F*ckin' useless, they are...
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to alanw:
> (In reply to Jonno) Dealing with the Germany question, a quick search gave this: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/tre_reg_ger.html >>

My first thoughts were , who the feck are the CDIAC ? A quick wikipedia scan sees that they are 'an organisation within the United States Department of Energy'. So...any stats offered must be kosher then !

Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to johnSD:

The point made by Lawson was taking a European perspective. The emissions trade off made by Germany with 'dirty' countries like Poland and Slovakia has seen any German Co2 savings negated.
johnSD on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to alanw)
> [...]
>
> My first thoughts were , who the feck are the CDIAC ? A quick wikipedia scan sees that they are 'an organisation within the United States Department of Energy'. So...any stats offered must be kosher then !

Try looking up the data straight from the UNFCCC, EU, or German government then. But I take they'll be trying to bullshit the whole world too?
tony on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to alanw)
> [...]
>
> My first thoughts were , who the feck are the CDIAC ? A quick wikipedia scan sees that they are 'an organisation within the United States Department of Energy'. So...any stats offered must be kosher then !

So presumably you've got data which disproves what they report?
MJH - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> As expected,those from the UKC pro wind fraternity haven't really answered the main points addressed in Lawson's article.

Utter nonsense - you could at least have the courtesy to read what people have written.

> Milliband optimistically says electricity prices will have to rise by at least 17%. Another source says 55%. Either way,millions more will be thrown into fuel poverty. I realise that most contributors on here will not have to make a decision....supper or another bar on the electric fire ?...but those decisions are real for millions in the UK.

You still haven't answered why you think that more will end up in fuel poverty from renewables than alternatives (fossil fuels are becoming more scarce and nuclear will not be cheap).

> What about the German example. Massive subsidies to the wind industry and no reduction in emissions...tut tut !

Have you any actual evidence that that statement is true or have you just copied that from Lawson's article? Germany is well on target to meet its Kyoto targets according to the EU (see the summary page of http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/pdf/countries/2007/germany.pdf ).
alanw - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno: Also, early in the article he says: 'plans to cut carbon emissions by switching to “renewables” for more than 30% of our energy use.' referring to a speech by Ed Miliband.

The quote is actually 30% of electricity which shows either a worrying lack of understanding of the energy system, a deliberate attempt to mislead ao just plain laziness on Lawson's part.

ClimberEd - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> As expected,those from the UKC pro wind fraternity haven't really answered the main points addressed in Lawson's article.
> Not surprising as they are coming at it generally from an urban middle class perspective.
> Milliband optimistically says electricity prices will have to rise by at least 17%. Another source says 55%. Either way,millions more will be thrown into fuel poverty. I realise that most contributors on here will not have to make a decision....supper or another bar on the electric fire ?...but those decisions are real for millions in the UK.
>
> Expensive electricity will contribute to the further erosion of production in the UK.As if it wasn't bad enough! Another million on the dole. Not a problem of course if you're not an unskilled factory worker. Which most of those who swallow the governments guff on here clearly are not.
>
> What about the German example. Massive subsidies to the wind industry and no reduction in emissions...tut tut !
>
> It's not just Tories like Lawson who point out the futile lunacy of government energy policy.People like Neil Kinnock and Kim Howells have offered the same over view.

Okay, this is getting annoying now.

When will you realise that the issue is not fuel poverty. It is not a concern when worrying about decarbonising the energy sector and security of energy supply.
You can bang on about fuel poverty, but no one will listen, and policy makers wont give a shit.
MJH - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to johnSD)
>
> The point made by Lawson was taking a European perspective. The emissions trade off made by Germany with 'dirty' countries like Poland and Slovakia has seen any German Co2 savings negated.

Which just shows a complete lack of understanding of emissions trading...
DougG - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to johnSD:

> Try looking up the data straight from the UNFCCC, EU, or German government then. But I take they'll be trying to bullshit the whole world too?

Only if the results don't correspond with Jonno's predetermined world-view.

alanw - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno: You were quick to check the providence of my stats (and CDIAC are actually a fairly standard source of this data). Where you as quick to check Dominic Lawson's or, as others have asked, have you more reliable data to back him up.
johnSD on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to johnSD)
>
> The point made by Lawson was taking a European perspective. The emissions trade off made by Germany with 'dirty' countries like Poland and Slovakia has seen any German Co2 savings negated.

But as the overall number of allowances in the system is reduced - as it is being, and as it will drastically do by 2020 and beyond - those cuts are made. Yes, the first few years of the trading scheme weren't as successful at reducing emissions as perhaps intended, but reforms have sorted a lot of that out for the future.

One thing that is correct here is looking at the European perspective rather than national. As part of the EU we are responsible for about 15% of global emissions - which might be a large enough proportion for even an upper class country twit or lower class scrounger to appreciate as important (since you seem to think that middle class city dwellers aren't allowed to hold opinions on the matter...)
jkarran - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> My first thoughts were , who the feck are the CDIAC ? A quick wikipedia scan sees that they are 'an organisation within the United States Department of Energy'. So...any stats offered must be kosher then !

Tut tut Jonno, you really are clutching at straws there. That data actually backs up your original linked article which was making a point about Germany's success in low carbon generation leading to them being able to sell credits. It's the carbon trading scheme Lawson is targeting not, the effectiveness of Germany's renewables in cutting German emissions. Do keep up at the back :)

jk
alanw - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to alanw: That should have been 'provenance' in my last post. Sorry, long day.
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
About an hour ago I took the hound for an amble in the Berwyns where I took this picture. Not an unpleasant vista I'm sure you'll agree.

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u192/eryrglas/liberty009.jpg?t=1248103767

As a conservationist and lover of the mountain environment I am greatly offended by the three 350' highly intrusive power stations slap bang in the middle of this upland perspective. Point one is, three turbines are going to be producing an absolute piddling amount of electricity. Their visual impact though is highly invasive and out of proportion within the setting.In fact they are the only industrial structures anywhere to be seen in a rural landscape.

It will be argued that things like the forest in the foreground,the fields, the farms and cottages have been shaped by man. However,vegetation stone and trees are natural. The tiny cottages are in no way intrusive and scaled into their environment. A friggin 350' white steel tower is NOT !

When it comes to the mountain environment,I'm with Ruskin !
johnSD on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
>
> As a conservationist and lover of the mountain environment...

Labelling yourself doesn't add credence to your argument. I think they look fine, in keeping with the agriculturally developed nature of the area, and neither dominate nor spoil the view. A few more in that field would make them more visually cohesive though, so hopefully they'll get round to it eventually...
jkarran - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> As a conservationist and lover of the mountain environment I am greatly offended by the three 350' highly intrusive power stations slap bang in the middle of this upland perspective. Point one is, three turbines are going to be producing an absolute piddling amount of electricity.

I agree. Perhaps there should be 6?

> Their visual impact though is highly invasive and out of proportion within the setting.In fact they are the only industrial structures anywhere to be seen in a rural landscape.

They're now part of the rural landscape, and I think quite an attractive part. Of course you're entitled to disagree. Are you're showing your true colours here Jonno or just trying to wind people up?

jk
Swig - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

No, the man-made fields and cottages are just as obvious as the turbines. I'd guess there are probably roads (or at least tracks) up to the cottages. Those turbines are on farm land aren't they?
tony on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> When it comes to the mountain environment,I'm with Ruskin !

That's all very well, but have you got your data about Germany's CO2 emissions?
MJH - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> However,vegetation stone and trees are natural.

Metal is however not????
alanw - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno: It seems to me that your primary concern is one of aesthetics (along with conservation and no doubt a few others). That's entirely valid - I read an interesting article recently suggesting the environmental movement had lost many of its ideals in an attempt to compromise and gain influence in the mainstream and had suffered as a result.

However, trying to justify these concerns with an appeal to a clearly biased and factually dubious article doesn't serve you well.
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
So sad that so many lost souls have embraced an almost blade runner-esque vision of the future. A place where the natural is defiled by the industrial and where the countryside is no longer a place of spiritual renewal and escape from the the ugly realities of life in an overpopulated European country in 2009.
I've no doubt many would welcome Macdonalds, IKEA and Tesco's opening up in the Ogwen Valley !

There's no doubt that in the short term the pro wind lobby will see their brutalist vision come to fruition but probably in less than a decade people will ask....how did we let it happen? The futile despoilment of our uplands,islands and coasts ???

What was all that about !
tony on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

Anyone would think that you're having trouble laying your hands on those pesky data.
tony on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
>
> There's no doubt that in the short term the pro wind lobby will see their brutalist vision come to fruition but probably in less than a decade people will ask....how did we let it happen? The futile despoilment of our uplands,islands and coasts ???

The irony .... In less than a decade, people will be asking why on Earth wasn't more done to stop global warming, and the answer will be that reactionary old buffoons like George Bush and Dominic Lawson were completely in thrall to the oil industry and preferred to imagine that there wasn't a problem.
i.munro - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to tony:

Buffoon! Not the word I was thinking of but I like it.
dread-i - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
>A place where the natural is defiled by the industrial and where the countryside is no longer a place of spiritual renewal and escape...

And for the third time; would you object if these were offshore over the horizon as part of a marine exclusion zone that also protects fish stocks?
tony on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to i.munro:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> Buffoon! Not the word I was thinking of but I like it.

A word that should be used far more often than it is, in my opinion.
toad - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> I've no doubt many would welcome Macdonalds, IKEA and Tesco's opening up in the Ogwen Valley !
>
>
It would be terrible. Almost like someone building a dam across the valley to raise the waters in the lake to an unnatural and artificial level and regulate river flows in the nant ffrancon valley forever. Or building an entirely artificial water factory on the llugwy or Eigau or Vrynwy, or....

Oh, hang on....
johnSD on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> So sad that so many lost souls have embraced an almost blade runner-esque vision of the future. A place where the natural is defiled by the industrial and where the countryside is no longer a place of spiritual renewal and escape from the the ugly realities of life in an overpopulated European country in 2009.

I don't see how wind turbines detract from that, especially not in the agricultural tellytubbyland that your picture shows. I'm all against putting them in truly wild and "unspoiled" areas, but I have no issue with them being built in the mere countryside.
Bruce Hooker - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to dread-i:

What would you do with all this power (well not that much but a bit) miles from land. Why not produce it where it's needed with nuclear power? Small, compact units or larger ones that covered whole cities. Stable, then reduced population and better spread throughout the land available... and the countryside left rural, a few houses, roads, hedgerows and cows to add to nature's work?

There is an alternative to the present eco-lunacy, which is not really "eco" at all as it misses out the very essence of what we should be aiming at - countries which are pleasant to live in.
alanw - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker: I'm curious, what would you estimate the percentage loss of energy is over say 200 miles of high voltage transmission lines.
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to alanw:
> (In reply to Jonno) It seems to me that your primary concern is one of aesthetics (along with conservation and no doubt a few others). That's entirely valid - I read an interesting article recently suggesting the environmental movement had lost many of its ideals in an attempt to compromise and gain influence in the mainstream and had suffered as a result>>>

The schism in the environmental movement is indeed fascinating. In newspaper articles I increasing see those fighting against wind farms described as 'environmentalists' Good...that's how it should be.
Speaking as an ex member of Greenpeace, I am appalled at how a once worthy organisation is currently in thrall to big business and marches in step with the government.
In its worship of science and technology above conservation, Greenpeace has quite frankly sold out. It is left to radical groups like Earth First to fly the flag for the environmental movement these days.




alanw - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno: That's kinda the jist of the article I read. It's suprising however, that on this forum, populated by those that should have a higher than average attachment to the environment, you seem to be in a minority.

Are the other 'environmentalists' just very shy. Is there anyone else that supports Jonno's view? (I know of at least one but I think he's on his hols)
i.munro - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

It would be great to have the luxury of aiming for countryside that is pleasant. If resources had not been diverted from renewables into nuclear when this debate started in the 70s (see Alter's duck) then we might well have that luxury.

We have procrastinated ourselves into a situation where it's unclear whether survival as a technical civilization is acheivable.
Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to alanw:
> (In reply to Jonno) That's kinda the jist of the article I read. It's suprising however, that on this forum, populated by those that should have a higher than average attachment to the environment, you seem to be in a minority.
>
> Are the other 'environmentalists' just very shy. Is there anyone else that supports Jonno's view? (I know of at least one but I think he's on his hols)>>

There's a few of us. Dan Bailey who writes for Trail and Grumpytramp..has he been here lately ? and a a few others. The UKC pro wind majority is not reflected by the outdoor people I know who are generally wind sceptics. Then there is whole swathe of Climbing's elite who share my concerns. Chris Bonington, Doug Scott, Ed Douglas, Jim Perrin, Harold Drasdo, David Craig et al.

Nice to be amongst the creme de la creme and not the UKC plebs :) !

Eric9Points - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

You're entirely entitled to your view on windfarms with which I have a lot of sympathy. However your argument is not helped when you clutch at every piece of "evidence" which shows they're ineffective no matter how dubious it is and you rubbish the Government's entire energy policy which you obviously know bugger all about.

Further you're even prepared to convince yourself that Global warming isn't even occurring in order to avoid the painful conclusion that wind energy in some form may be a necessary part of our electricity generation system in the future.

Anyway, perhaps you would prefer a French model where 90% of electricity is generated by nuclear power You'll notice that you don't ever see a wind turbine on the horizon of a French landscape.
i.munro - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Eric9Points:


> You'll notice that you don't ever see a wind turbine on the horizon of a > French landscape.

Not been watching the Tour then?

Jonno on 20 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to Jonno)
>
> You're entirely entitled to your view on windfarms with which I have a lot of sympathy. However your argument is not helped when you clutch at every piece of "evidence" which shows they're ineffective no matter how dubious it is and you rubbish the Government's entire energy policy which you obviously know bugger all about.>>

Don't tell the government that there are people who know 'bugger all' about they're much trumpeted energy policy. They've wasted enough hours promoting it so I'm sure some peasant in a yurt in Mongolia could tell you the finer points. Oh...and how Ed Milliband wants to promote air travel !


>
> Further you're even prepared to convince yourself that Global warming isn't even occurring in order to avoid the painful conclusion that wind energy in some form may be a necessary part of our electricity generation system in the future.>>

Nowhere above have I said that global warming isn't happening. I'm not in the zealot camp however and am open minded about other natural factors. I don't accept as gospel the messianic pronouncements from the more hysterical pundits.
>
> Anyway, perhaps you would prefer a French model where 90% of electricity is generated by nuclear power You'll notice that you don't ever see a wind turbine on the horizon of a French landscape.>>

I used to be anti nuclear but like Lovelock I'm increasingly convinced that perhaps its nuclear or bust ?

i.munro - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:


Oh so you're happy with market distortion & (extremely)high cost electricity provided it's nuclear.
What about all your concerns about fuel poverty?
alanw - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to alanw)
> [...]
>
> There's a few of us. Dan Bailey who writes for Trail and Grumpytramp..has he been here lately ? and a a few others.

That's the lad I was thinking of, I believe he's off adding to his carbon footprint at present. He's a good mate of mine and these days we generally agree to disagree on the issue of windfarms.


Eric9Points - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to Eric9Points)
> [...]
>
> Don't tell the government that there are people who know 'bugger all' about they're much trumpeted energy policy. They've wasted enough hours promoting it

Really? You seem to be remarkably ignorant of what's going on.
>
> I used to be anti nuclear but like Lovelock I'm increasingly convinced that perhaps its nuclear or bust ?

I agree, I'd like to hear a good argument for building more coal fired power stations.

i.munro - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Eric9Points:

If you mean vs nuclear (same arguments as for renewables)

Cost?? If carbon capture & storage can be made to work (ok big if)they should be cheaper than nuclear (everything has to be as the costs of nuclear aren't known)

Energy security. Coal is available domestically, Uranium isn't.


DougG - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Eric9Points:

> I agree, I'd like to hear a good argument for building more coal fired power stations.

If Carbon Capture and Storage proves to be viable (and it's a big if) then there's no reason why we shouldn't be building more. Trouble is, people need to know now.

The following is directed at those (e.g. Jonno, Bruce Hooker) who appear to be pro-nuclear:
The Govt has already accepted that the UK's future will be at least partly nuclear. The problem is that you can't just conjour stations up out of nowhere; even if you decide to build now it takes 12-15 years (I think) to complete them.
That's a very long time. So in the interim, we need to find out energy from alternative sources:
- gas (indigenous supplies are in fairly sharp decline so much will need to be imported, the lion's share from Norway but some via the interconnectors from Belgium and Holland - this will be originally Russian gas)
- LNG (100% imported, mostly from Algeria and/or Qatar)
- coal (mostly imported)
- renewables
- improved energy efficiency

You may have noted the word 'imported' occurs frequently in the above
- that's one reason from spreading our bets. We don't want to be too reliant on one source.
Bruce Hooker - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to i.munro:

> We have procrastinated ourselves into a situation where it's unclear whether survival as a technical civilization is acheivable.

You sound a bit pessimistic here... humanity has survived worse, it can do it again. All that's needed is static then slowly diminishing population coupled with nuclear energy and phasing in of replacements for those raw materials that are running out... Not that much or a problem if the political will was there, worldwide. Half the planet is in such a mess that it is not even anywhere near contributing as it could do... again the problems are political and educative more than natural... Africa should be the garden of Eden, and yet it's in meltdown, political not lack of resources.

Renewable energy can play a role, especially in certain particular areas but it will only ever be marginal unless we are all prepared to live under solar panels and wind mills. Well managed farmland may not be natural but it's very pleasant to live in and wander over. There's no need to go back to wilderness to have a green and pleasant land.
Bruce Hooker - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Eric9Points:

> You'll notice that you don't ever see a wind turbine on the horizon of a French landscape.

Not true at all, there are loads of them even just outside Calais and actually in the docks at boulogne, just the place is bigger. Quite a lot of hydroelectric power too, but as you say mostly nuclear.
Ridge - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to DougG:
> (In reply to Eric9Points)
>
> [...]
>
> The Govt has already accepted that the UK's future will be at least partly nuclear. The problem is that you can't just conjour stations up out of nowhere; even if you decide to build now it takes 12-15 years (I think) to complete them.

I'm intigued by that figure of 12-15 years (or 10 - 12, depending which you read.

It's 1952, austerity stalks the land:

"I say Mr Cholmondly-Walker, let's build a nuclear power station!"
"Spiffing idea! ...What is a nuclear power station?"
"I don't know, no-ones ever built one before, we did make a bomb factory from scratch after the war when those nasty yanks kept all the nuclear stuff we worked on in the war".
"Jolly good. Have a think and see what you can come up with!"


Just under 4 years later...

"Hello, Your Majesty? Yes, we've built a nuclear power plant, would you mind cutting the ribbon so we can switch it on?"

50 years later and it now takes 15 years to buy an off the shelf reactor from the French/Americans and switch it on.

Hmmm.
MJH - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to DougG:
> The problem is that you can't just conjour stations up out of nowhere; even if you decide to build now it takes 12-15 years (I think) to complete them.

If you decide to build them now you would be talking about 5-8 years in all probability, perhaps even less once Areva/EdF have worked out how to build EPRs quicker/properly. It only takes that long if you allow endless delaying through planning and permitting. The new major infrastructure projects planning body should help speed up planning.

> So in the interim, we need to find out energy from alternative sources:

No co-incidence that UK Govt has just helped convince the EU that poorly performing coal plants that were due to close by 2015/16 should now be allowed to operate until 2021.
DougG - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to MJH and Ridge:

Fair enough, that still leaves 8 years - even if someone has already decided to build a nuclear power plant. (Has anyone?)

That's 8 winters when we need to ensure that the lights stay on.
MJH - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to DougG: EdF/Centrica (owners of British Energy) and RWE - sites identified and bought. IIRC waiting for type approval of 2 or 3 types of reactor.

There may not be that much of an energy gap if the existing nuclear plants are life extended and coal due to shut in 2015/2016 stays open till 2021.
i.munro - on 20 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to i.munro)
>
> [...]
>
> You sound a bit pessimistic here... humanity has survived worse,

I would ask if you're insane if I didn't already know the answer.
The climate has been stable for far longer than humanity has existed, the current ice age has lasted 2.5 million years.
The met office are currently working on the assumption of an estimated 4deg rise by 2090.
(Being really, really optimistic within my possible lifetime.)
If my (pop science) understanding is correct the last time the planet saw a warming on this scale (5 deg) it triggered the permian mass extinction - 90% of species on land & all life in the ocean died.

In case that's yet another thing you can't grasp, that doesn't mean 90% of animals living on land died, that's species. I think it's a safe bet that 99.? % of living things died.
tony on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to alanw:
> (In reply to Jonno)
> [...]
>
> That's the lad I was thinking of, I believe he's off adding to his carbon footprint at present. He's a good mate of mine and these days we generally agree to disagree on the issue of windfarms.

Didn't he have some involvement in the coal industry?
Bruce Hooker - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to i.munro:

Once again, you're panicking a little (I don't know why, but if that's what turns you on....). The present climate is still considerably cooler than in the 12th to 14th century and the glaciers still have a way to go before they shrink to where they were at that period... Go to Montenvers and look down, in those days the Mer de Glace was prairie and they took cattle over to Italy by the pass up past the Dent du Géant... It'll be while before we reach that and the world survived.

I'm not saying no policy changes are required but it's certainly not even a large number of windmills that will make a significant difference... they are akin to the line of totally useless Martello towers built to keep Napoleon out - a sop to public opinion to show that "something is being done" to calm those of the public incapable of rational thought, but there's no way renewable energy will ever be more than a minor contribution to electrical production - unless 90% of the world population is zapped overnight.

Which brings me back to the real problem and the real solution - over-population and reducing the latter... calmly, progressively and undramatically. Not stuff for the tabloids and the panic mongers, or those who enjoy auto-flagellation, tearing of hair and sack-cloth and ashes (an age old British tradition!) I'll grant you. Parallel to this reducing energy consumption, new fuels, insulation etc are all well worth doing, but calmly, sensibly and in a rational way.

ClimberEd - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to i.munro)
>
> Once again, you're panicking a little (I don't know why, but if that's what turns you on....). The present climate is still considerably cooler than in the 12th to 14th century and the glaciers still have a way to go before they shrink to where they were at that period... Go to Montenvers and look down, in those days the Mer de Glace was prairie and they took cattle over to Italy by the pass up past the Dent du Géant... It'll be while before we reach that and the world survived.
>
> I'm not saying no policy changes are required but it's certainly not even a large number of windmills that will make a significant difference... they are akin to the line of totally useless Martello towers built to keep Napoleon out - a sop to public opinion to show that "something is being done" to calm those of the public incapable of rational thought, but there's no way renewable energy will ever be more than a minor contribution to electrical production - unless 90% of the world population is zapped overnight.
>
> Which brings me back to the real problem and the real solution - over-population and reducing the latter... calmly, progressively and undramatically. Not stuff for the tabloids and the panic mongers, or those who enjoy auto-flagellation, tearing of hair and sack-cloth and ashes (an age old British tradition!) I'll grant you. Parallel to this reducing energy consumption, new fuels, insulation etc are all well worth doing, but calmly, sensibly and in a rational way.

You can bang the drum as much as you like for population reduction, and I agree with you. But the cold hard fact is that it is never going to happen. So we have to look for solutions to the problem without that option.
Bruce Hooker - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to ClimberEd:

> But the cold hard fact is that it is never going to happen.

Why is this?

Try telling the Italians, they already have it... the Chinese are trying hard too, outside autonomous regions like Tibet which are so underpopulated that the one child rule is not applied. In W Europe it wouldn't be that much of a problem to stop subsidising breeding by scrapping child allowances and as the population growth is already low this alone would probably stabilize the level, and a few fiscal incentives (why should those who choose not to have children subsidise the others?) would suffice to reduce births enough to provide the sort of gradual reduction that is required.

I don't see why this is "impossible" - probably easier than any of the other "solutions" to climate change that are being suggested. The poor countries don't want to remain poor for ever so unless there is a population drop it's hard to see how strife and war could be avoided on the basis of the present world population.
Jonno on 21 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to Bruce Hooker:


> I'm not saying no policy changes are required but it's certainly not even a large number of windmills that will make a significant difference... they are akin to the line of totally useless Martello towers built to keep Napoleon out - a sop to public opinion to show that "something is being done" to calm those of the public incapable of rational thought, but there's no way renewable energy will ever be more than a minor contribution to electrical production - unless 90% of the world population is zapped overnight.
>
> Which brings me back to the real problem and the real solution - over-population and reducing the latter... calmly, progressively and undramatically. Not stuff for the tabloids and the panic mongers, or those who enjoy auto-flagellation, tearing of hair and sack-cloth and ashes (an age old British tradition!) I'll grant you. Parallel to this reducing energy consumption, new fuels, insulation etc are all well worth doing, but calmly, sensibly and in a rational way.>>


Well put !

Who was that Scotsman in Dad's Army that ran around shouting 'We're all dooommmed !!! That just about sums up Greepeace/FOE energy policy.
As for the government's energy policy. Like in so many areas. Based on PR spin,kneejerk reactions,highly questionable statistics,dodgy science,a slavish devotion to the market and voodoo it seems.

Someone above questioned the climate change/energy credentials of some leading climbers I'd listed who are wind energy sceptics. It's not as Milliband and Brown are experts in the field for that matter. They have absolutely no scientific,ecological,technological or engineering backgrounds whatsoever and can be led by nose in any direction the powerful energy companies lead them.



alanw - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to alanw)
> [...]
>
> Didn't he have some involvement in the coal industry?

I'm not sure he's ever even seen a lump of coal - unless he tripped over one while out walking in the hills.

ClimberEd - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Do you really think a gvt would get elected that overtly supported population reduction?

Granted, maybe 10's of years into the future it may happen, but currently all our systems are based on growth and no one has found a way round avoiding that.

p.s. China doesn't count, it's effectively fully communist
Geoffrey Michaels on 21 Jul 2009 - cnag4.gotadsl.co.uk
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to ClimberEd)
>
> [...]
>
... autonomous regions like Tibet ...

This alone makes a complete mockery of everything else in your post.
alanw - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to alanw: Just to add a few points on the looming energy gap. We're set to lose about 20GW generating capacity by 2016 - a mixture of nuclear and oil/coal due to the large plant directive - and a further 5GW by 2035 (this could change a bit if plant lifetimes are extended or they become unsafe sooner).

As others have noted, a new nuclear plant can be built in around 5 years but only once planning permission is granted. I'd have to check but I think sizewell B took about 8 years to get its permission, maybe even longer. Hopefully the new Planning Act will improve this but it's also likely that Greenpeace or FOE will use every possible tactic to delay as much as possible.
dread-i - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
Any news on whether off shore, over the horizon wind farms are good or bad? You may have missed my three previous posts to you on the subject:
10:48 Mon, 12:22 Mon, 17:14 Mon
Jonno on 21 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to dread-i:
> (In reply to Jonno)
> Any news on whether off shore, over the horizon wind farms are good or bad? You may have missed my three previous posts to you on the subject:
> 10:48 Mon, 12:22 Mon, 17:14 Mon>>

Sorry not have replied...Hard to say isn't it? Certainly preferable to onshore and those slap bang on our iconic coasts. I understand the Norwegians have developed a wind turbine that floats like a fishing float but is anchored to the sea bed.These can be towed out to sea and moved when needed. Not sure if these would stand up to the rigors of Atlantic storms ?

A qualified hmmmm...maybe !

johnSD on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
>
> In W Europe it wouldn't be that much of a problem to stop subsidising breeding by scrapping child allowances and as the population growth is already low this alone would probably stabilize the level, and a few fiscal incentives (why should those who choose not to have children subsidise the others?) would suffice to reduce births enough to provide the sort of gradual reduction that is required.

Most countries in Western Europe already have sufficiently low birthrates. It is only migration and increasing life expectancy that cause the still gradually rising populations. Many are en route to the gradual reduction that is required.

As to your concept of "subsidising" breeding... You do understand that we need some people to have children? Having children is horrendously expensive, and largely leads to benefits for society at large rather than parents themselves. How the pitiful financial recompense we offer families can be described as "subsidy" I do not know... If, as you suggest, people who choose not to have children should pay less, I take it you would have no problem with those same people having no access to any services offered or products made by people younger than them - or at least if they do access the fruits of other people having children, then at that point they should pay a premium?

Yes, a somewhat preposterous argument, but only as preposterous as your simplistic overview of the situation. Population stabilisation and reduction is required, and some encouragement may be needed in some parts of the world to make it happen more quickly than the standard demographic transition model would cause it to happen anyway, but I've still not seen any sensible suggestions for how this can be achieved. Why not "logan's run" old people. If you are past working age, then why should you become an increasing burden on the working population through pension payments and health care. If you want to stabilise the population, then setting a maximum age to which life is allowed would the most effective method...

> I don't see why this is "impossible" - probably easier than any of the other "solutions" to climate change that are being suggested.

Timescale. You understand population pyramids and the impact of age structure on a society and economy? It means that it parts of the world - like India, south east Asia, most of Africa, which have a large bulge heading up the pyramid, it simply isn't possible to significantly reduce (or even stabilise in some cases) populations in timescales shorter than generations. And since most of the places where growing populations are still an issue tend to be pretty poor, and have extremely low per capita greenhouse gas emissions, it seems a bit of a diversionary tactic and abrogation of responsibility to try and use them to solve climate change, while dismissing the effect that our impact makes now, has made for the last century, and can make in the next decades if we choose to take calm, rational, and decisive action now. And that's the key. No panic, no ignorance, no procrastination.
MJH - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to alanw:
> (In reply to alanw) Just to add a few points on the looming energy gap. We're set to lose about 20GW generating capacity by 2016 - a mixture of nuclear and oil/coal due to the large plant directive - and a further 5GW by 2035 (this could change a bit if plant lifetimes are extended or they become unsafe sooner).

See my earlier posts - that may change very shortly. The Large Combustion Plant Directive is being subsumed into the new Industrial Emissions Directive. As part of the recent deal done by the Council the UK and Poland were given the concession that coal plants not fitted with good FGD could remain open till 2021. Still got to go through a second reading, but I think it is a decent bet that there will be some extension in the LCP time limits.
dread-i - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
The reason why I'm asking is that your main objection seems to be their aesthetic qualities. If you translate the governments policies to off shore wind farms then we can increase our capacity using the north sea and lots of the Atlantic. This is an advantage that many countries don't have. No neighbours, no planning regulations and no nice views spoilt.

The costs will be more than land based, but the potential for expansion is far greater. Perhaps you should be pushing for off shore, rather than trying to abolish wind power all together.
alanw - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to dread-i: Offshore wind, as the Gov keep reminding us, is the one technology we lead the world in. However, this is more due to everyone else's poor performance rather than us blazing a trail.

There's huge potential but we're still at the early stages so it's hard to predict growth rates and performance. The winds are stronger so the efficiency of offshore should be a lot higher than onshore, but due to the difficulty of access if any break down it could be weeks before they can be fixed.

The Energy Technology Institute is doing a lot of work on offshore wind, including the floating structure mentioned above as well as a complete redesign from scratch.

They can cause problems for military radar but really, if the radar can't tell the difference between a misile and a windmill we've got serious issues.
MJH - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to johnSD: Yes, although population reduction is necessary it seems to be the latest excuse to fiddle while Rome burns. The sorts of reductions that would make a difference are going to take much more than just a gradual decline in birth rates. Furthermore any population reductions will cause other problems eg how will pensions be paid for?

As with all these things there is no silver bullet which is why it is important to act on many fronts rather than whining about renewables.
alanw - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to MJH:
> (In reply to alanw)
> [...]
>
> See my earlier posts - that may change very shortly. The Large Combustion Plant Directive is being subsumed into the new Industrial Emissions Directive. As part of the recent deal done by the Council the UK and Poland were given the concession that coal plants not fitted with good FGD could remain open till 2021. Still got to go through a second reading, but I think it is a decent bet that there will be some extension in the LCP time limits.

Thanks for the info. It was always very likely that these sort of answers would be found to plug the gap. Little point in letting the lights go out with operational plants standing idle - not so good for carbon emission though.
Jonno on 21 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to dread-i:

Problem is,Everything is related to costs and profits. It must be far cheaper to throw up an onshore wind farm than tow a flotilla of turbines out to sea and set up the necessary infrastructure. Unfortunately,aesthetic value does not come very high on the governments lists of priorities when planning these things.
Bruce Hooker - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Donald M:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
> ... autonomous regions like Tibet ...
>
> This alone makes a complete mockery of everything else in your post.

On par as usual... It happens to be it's name - the TAR - Tibetan Autonomous Region. And has no more value judgement involved than if one said Scotland was the land of the Scots or England the land of the Angles... of France the land of the Franks for that matter.

Nothing more top say about the subject of the thread then? Any backhanders at work in your area of the land to get people to support the big white bird slicers? White elephants might be a better name.

dread-i - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
>It must be far cheaper to throw up an onshore wind farm than tow a flotilla of turbines out to sea

Once the price of energy starts to rise, then these offshore options will look considerably more attractive. I suspect that it's harder to build a manned oil platform that can survive the worst that the sea can throw at it, than a turbine.

I consider this first generation of land based turbines to be a test bed for the off shore technology. As I stated earlier, all it takes is a big spanner and they can be dismantled.
Geoffrey Michaels on 21 Jul 2009 - cnag4.gotadsl.co.uk
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Already said it all. As you know, many subjects on UKC just go round in circles and I see no point in continuing that process. I am pro-wind, in the right places including on land, and the wind farms I see currently in the Highlands and rest of Scotland dont trouble me at all.
Jonno on 21 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Donald M)
> [...]
>
> On par as usual... It happens to be it's name - the TAR - Tibetan Autonomous Region. And has no more value judgement involved than if one said Scotland was the land of the Scots or England the land of the Angles... of France the land of the Franks for that matter.
>
> Nothing more top say about the subject of the thread then? Any backhanders at work in your area of the land to get people to support the big white bird slicers? White elephants might be a better name.>>

Problem for DM is...the SNP gov in Scotland are very much in the wind energy corporations pocket...sorry camp ! As with the Trumpton development oop north, it's sympathies are with the developers not the conservationists. Of course,it's not a capital offence to disagree with the party you support in certain areas although it comes more easily to some than others.

Not that I can talk in Wales. The Lab/Plaid Cymru mish-mash gov are equally in thrall to the energy corporations.

Bruce Hooker - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to johnSD:

I have three children, and took advantage of the generous subsidies in France. These date from the days that France was seriously underpopulated after WW1 etc. Also in line with catholic ideology and I am well aware of the costs involved in having children... and they never finish it seems, but this doesn't mean I consider that a responsible couple who decide not to have children or just one should subsidise my fornication and lack of contraceptive exactititude! This is even more the case for crowded places like Britain and Belgium.

I have children and assume them, I wasn't forced to so why should single adults finance me? And that's not counting the minority who make a profession of breeding... How can anyone justify huge families, as in Victorian times, with the present world population. Time you moved your mind to align with the times and the problems facing the planet which although not requiring the panic and slashing about of some are certainly quite real and need to be addressed. It's surely better to have a sustainable population in line with the world's capacity to feed and supply than breed like rabbits until nature does the job in its traditional brutal way - famine, plague and war?
Bruce Hooker - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

There is now a wind farm on Romney Marsh in Kent... just over the border from Sussex who wouldn't have it apparently. The dozen of so turbines completely dominate the view, far more than the nuclear power stations at Dungeness, and yet they will produce a fraction of the power. For the farmer involved it was a nice little earner. In France local councils fall over backwards to get turbines, as they do cell phone aerials, as this fills the municipal coffers (and their own sense of importance) wonderfully with none of the unpopularity caused by increasing local taxes. I expect it's the same with the regional parties in Britain.... greased palms make no fuss and have eyes that see only what their paymasters wish :-)
ClimberEd - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

Here's a choice of options for everyone. Pick one....

http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/withouthotair/c27/page_203.shtml
johnSD on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to johnSD)

> I have children and assume them, I wasn't forced to so why should single adults finance me?

Firstly, saying that they are "financing" you is a bit over the top... Secondly, because by having children you are financing and enabling their lifestyle by providing customers, services, manufacturers, carers, etc. to them, and paying their pensions in old age. Anybody who exists in the economy relies on the existence of economically active people. Anybody who exists in society relies on the existence of sexually active people. It's the whole concept of society: from those as can be afforded; to those as required; working together symbiotically as both a mass of individuals and a coherent whole for the betterment of all.

> Time you moved your mind to align with the times and the problems facing the planet which although not requiring the panic and slashing about of some are certainly quite real and need to be addressed. It's surely better to have a sustainable population in line with the world's capacity to feed and supply than breed like rabbits until nature does the job in its traditional brutal way - famine, plague and war?

That's exactly what I am advocating. I'm just being realistic about the timescale required to implement and achieve it, and putting it in context as a strategy to deal with environmental impacts (climate change, freshwater, agricultural land, etc.). By opposing your view that we are "subsidising" child bearing in Europe, I am not suggesting that we breed like rabbits instead...
Bruce Hooker - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to johnSD:

The "financing" is not 100% but it's not just child allowance, the income tax system (and many other perks) favours families with children... most of whom pay little or no tax while they have children or adolescents to look after. It's still an expensive business, but this is something you should way up before having kids... I don't regret mine but they certainly change one's life! By reducing or scrapping any financial help I think it might tip the balance in some cases and people would have fewer children.

The other question would then arise concerning immigration as it would be pointless to reduce the birthrate if then immigration was used to maintain population growth... which is why a global policy would be required, or much tighter border controls. This might be unpopular with some but that's why it's high time political parties, and people, started thinking about the question and not hiding their heads in the sand, or sweeping the dust under the carpet, which is what the wind farm mania amounts to.
alanw - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> Problem for DM is...the SNP gov in Scotland are very much in the wind energy corporations pocket...sorry camp ! As with the Trumpton development oop north, it's sympathies are with the developers not the conservationists. Of course,it's not a capital offence to disagree with the party you support in certain areas although it comes more easily to some than others.
>
> Not that I can talk in Wales. The Lab/Plaid Cymru mish-mash gov are equally in thrall to the energy corporations.

Do you have any evidence to back up this claim? The SNP are openly keen to develop low-carbon generation is Scotland but that's a long way from being in the energy companies pockets. If that was the case wouldn't the Lewis windfarm have been forced through.

I recall seeing figures showing that the number of wind farm applications that have been turned down or are still awaiting approval is very high. Don't have time to search at the minute - anyone else have these to hand?

i.munro - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to i.munro)

> Once again, you're panicking a little


If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs.....




you clearly don't understand the problem.


> Which brings me back to the real problem and the real solution - over-population

We've discussed this before, there is almost no correlation between the climate change problem & overpoulation.
You could magically remove 90% of the world's poulation overnight & if they weren't in the first world it would make almost no diference.






> The present climate is still considerably cooler than in the 12th to 14th century

Continuously repeating that doesn't make it less wrong
>
> there's no way renewable energy will ever be more than a minor contribution to electrical production

Continuously repeating that renewables won't work doesn't make that true either.
There was a recent fully costed proposal for supplying all the EU electricity requirements from solar in the Sahara.

johnSD on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> it's high time political parties, and people, started thinking about the question and not hiding their heads in the sand, or sweeping the dust under the carpet, which is what the wind farm mania amounts to.

But there is no wind farm 'mania' - at least not apart from people like Jonno. The concept of "pro wind zealots", wanting to cover every inch of rural Britain with turbines is a myth and a distraction. It is an invention of anti-wind zealots like Jonno to give some polarisation/justification to their own extreme fundamentalism on the issue. Rationally, there is no reason why wind power should not provide a cost effective, significant proportion of any low carbon (or low fossil fuel, dealing purely with finite resource issues) energy strategy. To advocate this is not to ignore population issues; it is simply separate to population issues. It is not one or the other, and views on one do not correlate with views on the other. However, using the population issue to dismiss wind farms is a clear case of head in the sand...
Eric9Points - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to i.munro:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)

> You could magically remove 90% of the world's poulation overnight & if they weren't in the first world it would make almost no diference.

Conversely then, I imagine you could leave that 90% alone and exterminate the other 10% and achieve huge savings, yes? Also as the third world becomes more prosperous people there will consume more energy.
Timmd on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to ClimberEd)
>
> [...]
>
> Why is this?
>
> Try telling the Italians, they already have it... the Chinese are trying hard too, outside autonomous regions like Tibet which are so underpopulated that the one child rule is not applied.

Enforced steralisations and abortions amongst Tibetans still take place though, along side the one child policy not being applied, which seem's rather odd.

Back to the windfarms debate...
Bruce Hooker - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to i.munro:


> > The present climate is still considerably cooler than in the 12th to 14th century

> Continuously repeating that doesn't make it less wrong

It happens to be true though. Do a bit of googling, there are plenty of reports and articles to confirm the glacier situation in the middle ages. This warm period was followed by what is called the "small ice age" which reversed again in the 19th century... since then things have been warming but we are still not back to the warmest period of 5 of 9 centuries ago. There are studies (one done in Grenoble) that show this was not just local but a world phenomenon.
ClimberEd - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Do you think anthropogenic climate change isn't happening?
i.munro - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I don't really need google as wkipedia has this from the IPCC

The IPCC TAR says of the MWP that the posited Medieval Warm Period appears to have been less distinct, more moderate in amplitude, and somewhat different in timing at the hemispheric scale than is typically inferred for the conventionally-defined European epoch. The Northern Hemisphere mean temperature estimates of Jones et al. (1998), Mann et al. (1999), and Crowley and Lowery (2000) show temperatures from the 11th to 14th centuries to be about 0.2°C warmer than those from the 15th to 19th centuries, but rather below mid-20th century temperatures
Mike Stretford - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to i.munro)
>
>
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> It happens to be true though. Do a bit of googling, there are plenty of reports and articles

Great idea

fill yer boots

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/recons.html
MJH - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker: Here you go - have a look at plate 3:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/briffa2001/briffa2001.html

Not quite the picture you are painting...
i.munro - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

So looking at that Graph the difference between 1100 & 1700 AD is about 0.2deg (with the consequences you have pointed out, collapse of the Greenland colonies, loss of vines in England etc)

We are in the process of trying out a change 20 times (at least) bigger.
Does that give you an idea what we're talking about?
Jonno on 21 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to Anonymous:
> (In reply to Jonno) i'm warming to Jonno's view- this country has been despoiled quite enough already
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/jul/16/ecotown-turbine-commercial-political >>>

Brilliant !

To all the pro wind zealots...READ IT !!!

Eric9Points - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to Anonymous)

>
> Brilliant !
>
> To all the pro wind zealots...READ IT !!!

I did. For those who haven't I'll quote the first few sentences (by climate change expert Simon Jenkins) and they can decide whether to click on the link.

"The British government is to permit the desecration of upland and coastal Britain in the hope that this will shift the climatic balance of Planet Earth. All past plans and protections are being torn up. Markets are being distorted. Local democracy is to be abandoned....."

Jonno, no one takes hysterical rants seriously. Read up on the subject a bit more a be a bit more objective and precise in your criticisms and folk may be less dismissive.


Jonno on 21 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to Eric9Points:

>
> "The British government is to permit the desecration of upland and coastal Britain in the hope that this will shift the climatic balance of Planet Earth. All past plans and protections are being torn up. Markets are being distorted. Local democracy is to be abandoned.....">>

Which is exactly what's happening. Do you live in a cave or something ?

Eric9Points - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

Sigh.

I refer you to my previous post.
Timmd on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Eric9Points:The article is a bit hysterical I agree, but regarding eco towns there is a lot of green speak about them which doesn't add up when they're looked at more closely, the name eco town is as much a handy name to make them seem more appealing as anything else. I'm not so sure about the planning connected with windfarms, because I can't remember readsing anything about them, but eco towns have been mentioned in Private Eye before (and the Times or Gaurdian I think), and the government actually is trying to push them through the planning processes without the poeple who live near by being able to have a say, they have to fight much harder than they really should do to voice thier objections because the regulations have been changed a little bit to make it easier for eco towns to be built. I can't be more precise though because it's quite a while since I read about them, I wish I could be though, it's annoying me not remembering more details.
Cheers
Tim
Jonno on 21 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to Timmd:

I really think the 'hysteria' is with those on board with the governments ill conceived grand project who are running around like Chicken Lickin swearing the sky will fall if we don't cover the countryside with useless power stations.
By comparison,voices like Dominic Lawson and Simon Jenkins are very models of calm measured objectivity.
Eric9Points - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Timmd:

If I recall correctly the towns that have been given planning permission have had the support of the local councils. I believe plans for other towns which did not get local support have been dropped. Whenever something like this gets the go ahead someone will claim that they have been badly done by. I really don't know what the truth is in this particular case but I take such reports with a grain of salt.

However it does illustrate the crux of the problem that a government has. No matter what it tries to do, be it encourage the building of windfarms, expansion of nuclear power, tidal energy schemes, eco towns they will always encounter a body of opposition. Often, as in the article Jonno refers to, we see opponents of one type of power generation ask why the government isn't doing more to develop some other equally contentious type of energy generation or conservation. In this case Mr jenkins urges the Government to develop tidal power in Britain's estuaries. One can't help think that if they did so Mr Jenkins would be writing eloquent articles on how the Government are descrating our waterways and devastating sea bird populations etc.

The Government can't win.
Timmd on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to Timmd)
>
> If I recall correctly the towns that have been given planning permission have had the support of the local councils. I believe plans for other towns which did not get local support have been dropped. Whenever something like this gets the go ahead someone will claim that they have been badly done by. I really don't know what the truth is in this particular case but I take such reports with a grain of salt.

The government has changed some of the legislation though or the rules which people have to follow, that much is definately true, which does make it harder for people to go through the usual channels than it did before if they want to oppopse something they don't agree with.

> However it does illustrate the crux of the problem that a government has. No matter what it tries to do, be it encourage the building of windfarms, expansion of nuclear power, tidal energy schemes, eco towns they will always encounter a body of opposition. Often, as in the article Jonno refers to, we see opponents of one type of power generation ask why the government isn't doing more to develop some other equally contentious type of energy generation or conservation. In this case Mr jenkins urges the Government to develop tidal power in Britain's estuaries. One can't help think that if they did so Mr Jenkins would be writing eloquent articles on how the Government are descrating our waterways and devastating sea bird populations etc.
>
> The Government can't win.

I agree, the government often can't win because people value just about all of the unbuit upon and natural environment.

Cheers
Tim
MJH - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno: I don't know if you are trolling or a halfwit - did you actually read that article?

First para: "The issue is not national security or prosperity but a hope somehow to prevent a long-term rise in the level of the sea." So if that isn't an issue of national security I don't what is...

Second para: "Where huge sums of public money are at stake, reason is shoved aside and arguments degenerate into crude politics. Climate change is like defence during the cold war, enveloped in hysteria of fear, envy, class, greed, commercial interest and intellectual chicanery. As big anti-carbon replaces big carbon in the lobbying stakes, statistics become gibberish, millions become billions and megawatts become gigawatts submerged in tonnes of CO2."

Public money is not at stake for renewables and the rest of it is just nonsense from someone who clearly has no idea what he is talking about.

"Turbine parks require excavating carbon sinks, concreting them and making and installing turbines and pylons, usually to distribute small, even trivial, amounts of intermittent electricity."n

This is just plain bullshit with an implication that wind turbines are not zero carbon - a claim made with zero evidence (or argument).

Need I go on...
i.munro - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to MJH:

He originally posted a link full of this crap. Various posters have taken apart each point but he thinks that finding a different moron to advance the same arguments constitutes debate.

The trouble is if lies get repeated often enough people start to believe them.
MJH - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> By comparison,voices like Dominic Lawson and Simon Jenkins are very models of calm measured objectivity.

Don't worry - you have answered my question (halfwit). Even if you were right about windfarms (and you are in very limited circumstances) that would not make what Lawson or Jenkins have written even half-way right.

One day you will be horrendously embarrassed at writing such a sentence. Nothing like selling out to try and find weak arguments you think agree with you.
MJH - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to i.munro: I think it is the last bit that bothers me most - that it causes confusion and doubt in the unsure.
Jonno on 21 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to MJH:

As I say....all the the uninformed hysteria is coming from the pro wind zealots and right on Q you crawl out from under your stone ! Calling people who point it out 'half-wits' doesn't alter that fact one iota.
I'll throw my lot in with Jenkins and Lawson and Perrin and Bonington and Scott and Bellamy and all the other half-wits who think our uplands,islands and coastal environment is worth fighting for.



MJH - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno: Given that you were so keen for people to refute Lawson's points (which they did), how about you do the same? Or is the simple truth that you don't know what you are talking about.

Jonno on 21 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to MJH:
> (In reply to Jonno) Given that you were so keen for people to refute Lawson's points (which they did), how about you do the same? Or is the simple truth that you don't know what you are talking about.>>

I haven't seen anyone refute Lawson..or Jenkins points as yet. Is it not true that any European Co2 savings are being overwhelmed by rapid industrial growth in China and India ?
Is it not true that not one conventional power station has closed down in Germany despite Germany's rush to wind ?
Is it not true that no power stations will close down in the UK due to our rush to wind but more will be needed as back up for a flawed and unreliable technology ?
Is it not true that as many as two million more in the UK will fall into fuel poverty as electricity prices rise rapidly to factor in this most expensive form of electricity production?

As yet nobody has refuted these points but rather just parroted the government line.As is the way with the UKC herd !

I won't go into Jenkins article as as usual he is spot on with his analysis.

dissonance - on 21 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> I haven't seen anyone refute Lawson..or Jenkins points as yet. Is it not true that any European Co2 savings are being overwhelmed by rapid industrial growth in China and India ?

the relevance of this is?


> Is it not true that not one conventional power station has closed down in Germany despite Germany's rush to wind ?

i believe you were asked to provide the supporting stats from an unbiased source. offhand it seems a strawman anyway. did they reduce the dependancy on fossil fuels etc and also have they supported the windfarms with other power sources.

> Is it not true that no power stations will close down in the UK due to our rush to wind but more will be needed as back up for a flawed and unreliable technology ?

again citations please.
also dont you think that perhaps if we invest in this technology now we can then flog it to others (assuming the investment is used into uk manufacturing?)

> Is it not true that as many as two million more in the UK will fall into fuel poverty as electricity prices rise rapidly to factor in this most expensive form of electricity production?

i would like to see some proper figures on this. there appears to be an underlying statement about how wind power (and is is curious the focus on that) requires subsidy as opposed to those traditional power.
how much is the uk tax payer having to pay to decommission the power stations and that is a price carried in taxation and not in the cost of electricity.

> As yet nobody has refuted these points but rather just parroted the government line.As is the way with the UKC herd !

or maybe you just havent read the many comments since they fail your ideology? i tend to find when people use "herd" its almost as big a give away as "sheeple" to them being blind to discussion/

> I won't go into Jenkins article as as usual he is spot on with his analysis.

ermm you mean he agrees with you?
Jonno on 22 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to dissonance:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5858989/How-can-wind-turbines-genera...

Certainly no shortage of 'halfwits' like myself coming out in the media and pointing out the destructive insanity of the Govs energy policy.

I don't know..Dominic Lawson, Simon Jenkins,Christopher Booker, well respected intelligent journalists one and all verses someone called 'Dissonance' and a rag bag assortment of UKC parrots.

Think I'll stay on the moral high ground thanks !
ClimberEd - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to MJH)
> [...]
>
> I haven't seen anyone refute Lawson..or Jenkins points as yet. Is it not true that any European Co2 savings are being overwhelmed by rapid industrial growth in China and India ?

Yes, but so what?! Ultimately we are heading towards parity of per capita emissions, which means we have to save CO2 output.

> Is it not true that not one conventional power station has closed down in Germany despite Germany's rush to wind ? No idea. but Germany's wind power could be providing power growth, rather than directly substituting for a power station
> Is it not true that no power stations will close down in the UK due to our rush to wind but more will be needed as back up for a flawed and unreliable technology ? No, that is not true.

> Is it not true that as many as two million more in the UK will fall into fuel poverty as electricity prices rise rapidly to factor in this most expensive form of electricity production?
As I have said before, fuel poverty is not a concern, aside from the fact that it is an arbitrary measure.
>
> As yet nobody has refuted these points but rather just parroted the government line.As is the way with the UKC herd !
I just have!!!!!


jim robertson - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

Another, dare I say more balanced, article here;

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/178/
tony on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to dissonance)
>
> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5858989/How-can-wind-turbines-genera...
>
> Certainly no shortage of 'halfwits' like myself coming out in the media and pointing out the destructive insanity of the Govs energy policy.
>
> I don't know..Dominic Lawson, Simon Jenkins,Christopher Booker, well respected intelligent journalists one and all

Christopher Booker! Ha! Throw your lot in with him and you definitely ally yourself with the loony denialists. Still, your choice ...
johnSD on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to MJH)
>
> As I say....all the the uninformed hysteria is coming from the pro wind zealots

The only hysterical person here is you. And like so many extremist fanatics, whether they be political, religious, or any other form of dogmatism, the first thing you do is label yourself as moderate and label moderates as extremists...
dissonance - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> Certainly no shortage of 'halfwits' like myself coming out in the media and pointing out the destructive insanity of the Govs energy policy.

hmm, now who used halfwit? I would be more impressed if you point at the scientific press instead.

> I don't know..Dominic Lawson, Simon Jenkins,Christopher Booker, well respected intelligent journalists one and all verses someone called 'Dissonance' and a rag bag assortment of UKC parrots.

wow it is just the ukc parrots who are in charge of the investment into wind farms. Someone tell the ukc bosses they will be able to make a fortune from advertising.

Do you really consider Christopher Booker to be highly regarded?

> Think I'll stay on the moral high ground thanks !

you truely think you are on that?
I do find it curious to note that you are the one throwing the insults around.
MJH - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to MJH)
> [...]
>
> I haven't seen anyone refute Lawson..or Jenkins points as yet.

As I said at least do the courtesy of reading other people's posts before coming out without more moronic nonsense.

>Is it not true that any European Co2 savings are being overwhelmed by rapid industrial growth in China and India ?

So? That has already been addressed in several posts.

> Is it not true that not one conventional power station has closed down in Germany despite Germany's rush to wind ?

Whether they close or not is not the issue, but how much they need to operate. Any contribution from wind will mean GWs less needed from conventional power stations and therefore reduced emissions.

> Is it not true that no power stations will close down in the UK due to our rush to wind but more will be needed as back up for a flawed and unreliable technology ?

No it is not true - you are still refusing to accept that renewables means anything more than wind. The point above re the German power stations also stands for the UK.

> Is it not true that as many as two million more in the UK will fall into fuel poverty as electricity prices rise rapidly to factor in this most expensive form of electricity production?

How many of those would fall into fuel poverty anyway because of rising costs for conventional power stations? You still haven't addressed that.

> I won't go into Jenkins article as as usual he is spot on with his analysis.

How convenient, but not unexpected. Now who is parroting lines rather than thinking for himself...
Bruce Hooker - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Papillon et al:

Lots of nice graphs, but there are others to look at too... none of which goes against the fact that glaciers were growing till the first part of the 19th century - the Bossons glacier can be seen in prints (and possibly even a few very old photos, not sure) right down to the valley floor, the stories of the Mer de Glace being fields and cattle crossing the col to Italy are true, witnessed facts, not to mention the story of Mrs Carl's field in the Ecrins or the discovery of ruins as Swiss glaciers retreat today.... So climate is warming but the effects have a way to go yet so panic and hysteria is not required (unless someone wants to push an unsightly windfarm through planning in yet another area of countryside, I suppose, or get their knickers in a twist congenitally).

Nuclear power will provide the solution, the only possible solution at present levels of knowledge (and even then assuming the H reaction can be mastered) but as the poor countries become rich and demand power supplies on a level with the rich ones of today this will be very difficult on even present levels of population. Responsible people should be using their energy to this end rather than pretending that this is "impossible" and that therefore more power be provided. Ideally population decline should accompany the rise in wealth of the present day poor in an attempt to stay near present day energy production levels... hoping that more efficient production, better insulation etc will keep all this within the realms of balance.

Otherwise, as Bob M sang, "everywhere will be war".


johnSD on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
>
> Ideally population decline should accompany the rise in wealth of the present day poor in an attempt to stay near present day energy production levels...

Out of interest, what rate of global population decline do you foresee/advocate, and what changes in population dynamics will cause this? Roughly, what do you see the global population being in 2020, 2050, or 2100?
eroica64 - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Lemony: Because the yriad other signs of human occupation are already there and the b**rd windfirms would be a new blot on the landscape.
eroica64 - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno: General point about windfarm electricity costs - try reading this for another view of windfarm electricit costs - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/22/wind_intermittency_study/
Chris.
eroica64 - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno: Ugh - exactly what I'm pissed off about. Environmentalist wishy-washy tree huggers blighting the environment instead of saving it. Leave our mountains alone!!!
Chris.
Mike Stretford - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Papillon et al)
>
> Lots of nice graphs, but there are others to look at too... none of which goes against the fact that glaciers were growing till the first part of the 19th century - the Bossons glacier can be seen in prints (and possibly even a few very old photos, not sure) right down to the valley floor, the stories of the Mer de Glace being fields and cattle crossing the col to Italy are true, witnessed facts,

So the Mer de Glace went down to the valley floor, but it was also fields with cattle wandering about?

Yeah glaciers did advance when global temperatures dipped (as shown in those nice graphs).


MJH - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to eroica64: I like El Reg, but some o the articles about climate change in general are just off the wall.

A few points though on that article:

Intermittency cover plants - no one is going to build nuclear to cover for intermittency or peak demand anyway so that doesn't matter and we may already have sufficient plants to cover intermittency. Obviously that will change in time as plants become life expired but that should still be manageable.

Renewables obligation - it starts off well by describing that the RO is not a subsidy (sorry Jonno), but then says there is a minimum guaranteed price which there isn't.

Again the author repeats the fallacy that nuclear will provide peak cover - they won't, the current designs just can not react that quickly (unlike gas plants). What is true is that the consumers will pay for ROCs. However without renewables expect the price of fossil fuel to rise as fuel becomes more scarce and the cost of emitting CO2 rises sharply. The consumer is going to pay whatever fuel mix we have - of course energy efficiency helps reduce that.
Jonno on 22 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
Interesting point in the Booker piece. The reference to the 7 turbine wind farm in Shropshire which was turned down. Incidentally,no surprise there as in affluent,educated areas like S Shropshire,Herefordshire and the Cotswolds the opposition is too cute and savvy for the energy companies,landowners and politicians. One reason why poorer,less populated areas are vulnerable because even if 80% of locals oppose a development. 80% of not a lot is not a lot !
To get back to Booker. Seven turbines would have given the energy fat cats £43 million in subsidies for Christ's sake !!!
When the economy is up shit's creek and we are undoubtedly going to have to reduce spending on schools,hospitals and social services,I'm at a loss as to how the government are going to continue with its largesse to the developers and landowners ???
No wonder the mostly foreign owned energy corporations have gathered like pigs around a trough to take advantage of these ill conceived subsidies.

Will the Cameron government continue to subsidise the wind industry hand over fist ? If as Osbourne suggests he is going to be prudent then surely subsidising an industry that would die overnight without government funding
would be the first thing to go. Ironic if all the energy companies are left ruined and thousands of turbines are left to rot on the hillsides if the plug was pulled. Perhaps one good thing to come out of the recession !

Climber Ed says fuel poverty is not an issue. Try telling that to those who will be going to bed early in the coming winters to save heating bills.

As Simon Jenkins says. If a fraction of the money being wasted on wind farms was spent on energy savings and water based energy schemes it would dwarf the piddling amount of energy from land hungry turbines !

johnSD on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
>
> Will the Cameron government continue to subsidise the wind industry hand over fist ?

I've heard that whoever is in power the lizards will ensure that not only will they be subsidised to the tune of 23 gazillion eurodollars per turbine blade, but the energy fat cat pig dogs will also be given the right to sleep with the wives and daughters of anyone who lives within sight of their bird killing white elephants*. Since every single acre of the countryside will have one of these, that means we are all at risk from this!!!!



* excuse my exaggeration: they aren't actually elephants - that's a metaphor.
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MJH - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> To get back to Booker. Seven turbines would have given the energy fat cats £43 million in subsidies for Christ's sake !!!

Err no it wouldn't - that may have been the theoretical total revenue or the theoretical revenue from ROCs (which is unquantifiable) over the life of the turbines. Given the methodology is undisclosed it is very questionable.

> When the economy is up shit's creek and we are undoubtedly going to have to reduce spending on schools,hospitals and social services,I'm at a loss as to how the government are going to continue with its largesse to the developers and landowners ???

FFS when will you actually read something written by others - the RO does not mean a single penny of tax is handed over to landowners/developers/power companies. You clearly have absolutely no understanding of the difference between the RO and a Govt handout.
MJH - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to MJH: Here you go - here is the working for that figure:

This is worked out of the basis of ROCs being paid out at the rate of £53 per MWh of electricity produced, which is added to consumers' electricity bills. The turbines will produce an estimated 32,377 MWh a year, producing a subsidy of £1,715,981 for each of the 25 years the permission to operate lasts, totalling just under the £43 million.

Couple of fairly major flaws in that:

1) It assumes ROCs are constant price - they are not, they vary on a daily basis. The theory being that as more renewable capacity comes on stream they become cheaper. There is absolutely no way that someone could say a ROC will cost £53/MWh in 25 years time. There is as much (perhaps more) chance that it will trend towards 0.

2) £53 is the highest price the ROCs have been, the range I have found is £35 - 53. Data from: http://www.e-roc.co.uk/trackrecord.htm
Jonno on 22 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to MJH:

By forcing energy suppliers to source an element of their energy supply from so called renewable energy companies this is in effect subsidising the industry at our expense.
If the energy companies were allowed to operate in the market and could buy their energy from the cheapest sources our energy bills would be cheaper.
The UK tax payer IS subsidising the wind industry.
dissonance - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> The UK tax payer IS subsidising the wind industry.

ok you have convinced me. so what should we be switching to since you have ruled out nuclear as well.
Jonno on 22 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to Jonno)
>
> [...]
>
> ok you have convinced me. so what should we be switching to since you have ruled out nuclear as well.>>

I said above that reluctantly it looks like nuclear or bust.I'm still convinced that by really tacking energy waste we could dwarf the energy output and Co2 savings made by turbines.
Not sexy though and as Jenkins points out..No photo opportunities for oligenous creeps like Miliband in loft insulation and pipe lagging compared to a giant turbine !

dissonance - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> I said above that reluctantly it looks like nuclear or bust.

so why are is one of your main arguments about subsidising the wind industry?
there has been massive subsidy in the past and it would be a tad optimistic to assume it wont continue.

johnSD on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

And how much does nuclear cost, compared to wind?
Jonno on 22 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to johnSD:
> (In reply to Jonno)
>
> And how much does nuclear cost, compared to wind?>>>

And how many wind turbines would equate in electricity output to ONE NP station ?

johnSD on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

That's not what I'm asking. One of the big issues you have with wind power is its cost. Presumably you must be in favour of a cheaper alternative - and one that requires less 'subsidy'.
Bruce Hooker - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Papillon:

No; where the Mer de Glace is now was meadows and there was a col over to Italy used regularly by cattle, which shows you just how much higher the glaciers were at the time. Cows and sheep would have been mooing about where the Geant ice fall is now. The geological story of how Mrs Carl's field was made then covered in boulders then cleared of ice again is interesting too.

Just trying to give a few examples climbers could relate to.
Bruce Hooker - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to johnSD:

I haven't any predictions to give as reality would certainly be different but that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying to push things in a way that will perhaps help the planets's entire population to have a decent life rather than all this hysteria which is just being manipulated to fill a few opportunists' bank accounts, and as "collateral damage" ruin the countryside for little good.

If you yourself have developed a reliable model that enables you to make accurate predictions on this sort of thing then you really should tell someone... many of the world's best scientists openly admit they are finding it difficult.
i.munro - on 22 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:

> I'm still convinced that by really tacking energy waste we could dwarf the energy output and Co2 savings made by turbines.
> Not sexy though

My god, you've managed a coherent argument (without blatant lies) at last, & one I agree with.

Now if we were doing that along with building wind, wave solar, biomass etc as fast as possible (& if unlimited money is available nuclear) we might really be "fighting to preserve our uplands'.
MJH - on 23 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to MJH)
>
> By forcing energy suppliers to source an element of their energy supply from so called renewable energy companies this is in effect subsidising the industry at our expense.

What is "so called" about renewables?

> If the energy companies were allowed to operate in the market and could buy their energy from the cheapest sources our energy bills would be cheaper.

Agreed at the most simple level, but it is also the job of the Govt to look at bigger picture and to consider what is necessary for the environment - cheapest sources are also likely to be the most polluting, is that what you really want? You can make coal fired power stations even cheaper by removing environmental legislation on emissions trading, flue gas desulphurisation etc etc.

You still haven't addressed the question of whether it is short-sighted to rely on foreign fuels that will become more expensive as they continue to become scarcer, or fuels that will attract ever-increasing levels of "tax" on CO2. All of which will mean that what is cheap now, in 5 years time may not be.

> The UK tax payer IS subsidising the wind industry.

Subtle difference, but it is electricity consumers not taxpayers. You wouldn't describe money paid to a private company taxpayers money in any other scenario so why this unless to try and prove an incorrect point?

Mike Stretford - on 23 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Papillon)
>
> No; where the Mer de Glace is now was meadows and there was a col over to Italy used regularly by cattle, which shows you just how much higher the glaciers were at the time. Cows and sheep would have been mooing about where the Geant ice fall is now.

When was this?

Bruce Hooker - on 23 Jul 2009
In reply to Papillon:

As I have already said, and it is all easily findable on internet, around the 12th century. The glacier levels were at about there highest, before what is called "the little ice-age" brought the level (level of the snouts that is) down to the lowest in the first half of the 19th century (again as said just above). since then the glaciers have been receding, as many older posters here will have seen for themselves... Unusable iron ladders to huts bear witness to this. As the glaciers recede they are uncovering ruins of villages that were overwhelmed by the downwards movements.

The principal factor concerning the height of glaciers is average temperature although there are perhaps a few other factors like precipitation. Some say it is a local phenomenon but studies I have previously posted links to demonstrate that this is not the case.

http://www-lgge.obs.ujf-grenoble.fr/ServiceObs/images/HouilleBReyanud2002.pdf

http://www-lgge.obs.ujf-grenoble.fr/~annel/Documentaire/biblio/home.html

I can't remember the best link about the high altitude cows but here's a link to an article which covers it (at the end).

http://www.drzz.info/article-10680224.html

All of which are just things to look at, I wouldn't have the pretension to say we should take every word as fact, but the "medieval hot period" and it's consequences (even attested in place names where "such and such les vignes" can be found even in the N of France where wine is no longer easily cultivated. The present increase in British wine production is just going back to activities our ancestors would have been familiar with until the "little ice-age" put an end to it. Note that the end of this cold period and the turn round point is generally put around 1820 or 30, well before human CO2 production was significant... There was already a natural cycle bringing temperatures back up under way before industry became an additional factor.



tony on 23 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> All of which are just things to look at, I wouldn't have the pretension to say we should take every word as fact, but the "medieval hot period" and it's consequences (even attested in place names where "such and such les vignes" can be found even in the N of France where wine is no longer easily cultivated. The present increase in British wine production is just going back to activities our ancestors would have been familiar with until the "little ice-age" put an end to it. Note that the end of this cold period and the turn round point is generally put around 1820 or 30, well before human CO2 production was significant... There was already a natural cycle bringing temperatures back up under way before industry became an additional factor.

There are currently about 7 times more active vineyards in England and wales than there were at the time of the Domesday Book - 52 were recorded then, and there are about 350 now, so to say that the increase in British wine production is "just going back to activities our ancestors would have been familiar with" is not true. If you're going to discuss the cultivation of vines, you should also bear in mind the fact that medieval vineyards were cultivated by monks, for use in making communion wines.

It's also worthy of note that the process of making sparkling wine was developed in London, in the 17th century, some 30 years before it is recorded in France. It's not at all clear that vine-growing practices have any clear relationship with relative climate changes between now and the medieval period.
Mike Stretford - on 23 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Papillon)
>
> As I have already said, and it is all easily findable on internet, around the 12th century.

I know, I posted some credible links a few days ago, which you chose to ignore.

I've found some more

http://www.giub.unibe.ch/klimet/docs/climdyn_2007_grosjean_et_al.pdf

And here is some talk of wine (I know it's biased but I have a feeling your previous reading was as well).

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/07/medieval-warmth-and-english-wine/

btw I'm not politiacal about this, I'm just amused by the lengths those who are will go to pedal their guff.
ClimberEd - on 23 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

So I ask you once again, do you not believe in anthropogenic climate change?
Yes or no
Bruce Hooker - on 23 Jul 2009
In reply to tony:

What was the population at the time of doomsday? Wine was commonly grown in N France, and I thought in Britain too but perhaps it was introduced by the Franco-Normans? Either way, are you really contesting the existence of the medieval hot period, followed by the little ice age? You will be ploughing a lonely furrow if you are.

It is certainly the case in France that regions that produced wine many years ago stopped doing so and it's hard to see what other explanation there is except climate. In Britain there are now many vineyards but this is very recent. When I was a boy my father was interested in this in Sussex and I have the book he bought at the time... It was still very limited and something new. The drinking of wine in Britain was far less common than it is now, and in pubs people drank beers and spirits plus a few fortified wines.

I think the French would contest you assertions about who invented the "méthode champenoise".
Bruce Hooker - on 23 Jul 2009
In reply to ClimberEd:

Can you repeat that in English?
Geoffrey Michaels on 23 Jul 2009 - host217-44-33-155.range217-44.btcentralplus.com
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

He means do you think that mankind is through our actions causing the climate to change?
Bruce Hooker - on 23 Jul 2009
In reply to Donald M:

Yes, it is probably contributing... I think I've been clear about that throughout the thread, I just don't agree with some on the best solution, or the need to panic. I think the overwhelming problem is overpopulation (unevenly, of course - many parts of Scotland, for example, are underpopulated compared to the past and the population that they could support) but overall I think that wind power, insulation etc, however much they may be able to contribute, are totally dwarfed by the fundamental problem, too many people already and an ever increasing population.

I'm not even proposing anything drastic, but for reasons that people seem unwilling, or unable to even simply define this as a subject worthy of study, it is off limits today, strangely different to when I was at school when the "population explosion" was presented as the problem facing humanity. Personally I don't think there is any reason to think things have really changed that much in 50 years... what was objectively a problem then is still one today... but people prefer to clamour for wind-mills and brush the real problem under the carpet.

Curious and rather lemming like.
i.munro - on 23 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:


> Curious and rather lemming like.

Hardly. It's seldom mentioned these days for the same reason that you generally stop talking about dry rot when the house is on fire.




Bruce Hooker - on 23 Jul 2009
In reply to i.munro:

So you prefer to look at the consequences of over-population (assuming that there is a certain correlation between the present upswing in temperature and carbon emission) rather than the cause - too many people consuming and causing these emissions to rise?

I'd say that was very lemming like... treating the symptoms rather than the illness. This is sometimes done but is not the best medical practice if it can be avoided.

Your example is typical of the "sock it to 'em" hysteria which is not the best way of approaching major questions. A better image would be if a house is on fire because it's sitting on and burning gas well then there's little point in just throwing buckets of water on it... but such similes are rarely helpful.
i.munro - on 23 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> So you prefer to look at the consequences of over-population rather than the cause

Yes! In the same way (sorry about the further simile) that if someone collapsed with a heart attack I'd try to get them to hospital rather than delivering a lecture about poor diet.

If the patient dies there won't be an opportunity to treat the underlying causes.
Bruce Hooker - on 23 Jul 2009
In reply to i.munro:

But the earth is not going to die in the next few decades... Humanity has time to turn the oil tanker around. Not too much time though which is why we should be concentrating on the underlying causes of the problem rather than dodging the issue out of opportunism or because it goes against the prejudices of the day. The sooner we start the better chance we have of avoiding mother nature's traditional solution to over population.
i.munro - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Humanity has time to turn the oil tanker around.


So, one old bloke in France says we've got time...

the world's assembled climate scientists say we don't


Ooh who to believe....?
Bruce Hooker - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to i.munro:

If the "old bloke" you are referring to is Claude Allègre, ex minister in Jospin's government for Education and Research, then I'd take his word over a load of panicking blinkered muppets on an internet forum... Which is an offensive thing to say, but this seems to be what you are looking for? Are you really incapable of discussing this question without being offensive? Usually this is a sign of someone who is not sure of himself... you are more persuasive when talking about chalk, and better informed.

All scientists do not agree that wind farms are the solution to the planets long term resources and pollution problems.

Allegre has written several books which are worth reading but they don't seem to have been translated into English... which is a pity as the sterile conformism expressed on the subject discussed in this thread (with a very few exceptions) is rather depressing... some people may be young in years but very old when it comes to thinking.

Mike Stretford - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to i.munro)
>
>
> All scientists do not agree that wind farms are the solution to the planets long term resources and pollution problems.
>

Planet will be fine whatever, it's this civilisation that's got problems, but then there doesn't seem to be any collective vision of humanities future anyway.


i.munro - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Sorry. No intention of being offensive with that one.
I think of myself a an 'old bloke' (well git actually) & sort of assumed you did too.

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tony on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to i.munro)
>
> If the "old bloke" you are referring to is Claude Allègre, ex minister in Jospin's government for Education and Research,

Would that be the Claude Allegre who wrote:
"By burning fossil fuels man enhanced the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which has raised the global mean temperature by half a degree in the last century.”
Bruce Hooker - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Papillon:

I'll take any bets at a 100 to 1 that the planet will still be around with humans on it in 10, 20, 30 years hence, except in the case of asteroid collision or such like... the sea may rise a bit*, the weather may change a bit (as it has done ever since weather started) but things will still be about as they are now. Any takers?

Which doesn't mean a bit of long term planning would not be a good idea, but first it needs to look at the real problems objectively... the end of the world is not nigh though!


* PS. anyone really interested in a bit of concrete truth could do worse than examine what has happened over the last few thousand years along the S coast between Hastings and Folkstone. The sea level has gone up and down several times, huge forests have been drowned, their carbonised remains brought up again, the Saxon coast was far inland, Bodiam castle was a port, now it is far inland, whole towns have been built then engulfed by the sea in the 13th century as levels rose again, to drop later on... and now the sea walls are being built up as the sea level is rising once again.... not projections or computer models the evidence is there to be seen and touched, like for the Alpine glaciers, but in this case very well recorded.
tony on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Papillon)
>
> I'll take any bets at a 100 to 1 that the planet will still be around with humans on it in 10, 20, 30 years hence,

Can you point to anyone who has said anything that disagrees that?
Bruce Hooker - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to tony:

You are quoting the English wikipedia article which is a bit anti. Allegre was/is a controversial person who put a lot against him when he tried to shake up the education system and the antiquated state run research centres, so, yes, it's the one who "said" this but don't be surprised if it was taken out of context.

When I want to bring a French CRNS researcher (a few are friends of friends) to the boil I just make a comment about how he was the best Education minister ever and they generally explode within seconds... a bit risky as the average age is quite high, which was one of Allegre's criticisms.

So take anything you read against him with a pinch of salt... a lot hate his guts, but for political rather than scientific reasons. At present he is busy winding up his ex-socialist "brothers" by flirting with Sarkozy and talk of him entering the government, although unfortunately I fear his health is not up to this.

alanw - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to the thread: If it hasn't already been done, I thought it might be worth pointing out that the Guardian and a certain Mr Monbiot have been having a very similar discussion on their forums:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2009/jul/22/george-monbiot-wind-power

George's main point, and one I generally agree with, is that on its own wind power may have limited success. But couple it with a smarter grid system (possibly at a EU level) and advances in storage (possibly including electric vehicles) then the intermittency issues could be illiminated and wind could play an important role in any future energy system (along with demand reduction and other forms of low carbon generation).

As for the hysteria surrounding the climate change debate I do think at times it is being overplayed - on both sides of the argument. The likes of Lovelock and Hansen (both of whom I respect greatly) do tend to err towards the doom and gloom which can make people feel impotent in the face of impending catastrope.

I heard a nice quote recently which, although a tad trite, did sum up the effect this can have: "Martin Luther would never have got very far with his 'I have a nightmare' speech".
Bruce Hooker - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to tony:

i.munro has said that worrying about population is like looking at woodworm in a burning building, which would seem to imply a fairly short term danger!

The general tone of gloom and doom which is used by the wind farm promoters to push through their plans are pretty much based on tones of imminent peril. My suggestions that a calmer more cautious approach (like Allegre's, who basically considers that we don't yet understand the climatic mechanisms at work and are in danger of making anti-growth decisions which will hit economic prosperity, especially for the poorer inhabitants of the Earth unnecessarily) are met with terms that clearly mean that urgent action is essential... for the survival of the planet.
tony on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> You are quoting the English wikipedia article which is a bit anti.

No, I'm quoting Allegre. He was also a signatory to a 1992 letter warning of the dangers of global warming, which included, amongst other things, the sentence:
"Predictions of global warming are still uncertain -- with projected effects ranging from tolerable to very severe -- but the potential risks
are very great."
ClimberEd - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to ClimberEd)
>
> Can you repeat that in English?

Apologies for the double negative.
tony on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> i.munro has said that worrying about population is like looking at woodworm in a burning building, which would seem to imply a fairly short term danger!
>
I'll let him answer for himself, but the idea that anyone is suggesting catastrophe on the timescale you're suggesting is more than a little far-fetched.

> The general tone of gloom and doom which is used by the wind farm promoters to push through their plans are pretty much based on tones of imminent peril. My suggestions that a calmer more cautious approach (like Allegre's, who basically considers that we don't yet understand the climatic mechanisms at work and are in danger of making anti-growth decisions which will hit economic prosperity, especially for the poorer inhabitants of the Earth unnecessarily)

The irony being that it's the poorer inhabitants of the Earth who will be disproportionally disadvantaged by global warming when compared with the privileged developed West. It is already the case that industrialised countries are buying up large chunks of land in developing countries for food production for the West - we already have the slightly obscene situation in which farmers in Zimbabwe and rice growers in Thailand are providing food for export but cannot afford to feed their families. Conflicts over access to water are already happening and will get worse, and will result in considerable displacement of populations. It's likely there will be significant shifts in populations across large parts of Asia and Africa - the Darfur conflict is an early warning sign of this. Europe is likely to see significant influxes of immigrants from the worst affected areas. Of course, we in the West can buy our way out of difficulties, so I guess that's okay ...

The further irony is the automatic assumption that action to address global warming will affect economic growth. This seems to be one of the dominant themes from right-wing commentators, who, I would have thought, would have had greater faith in the market to develop the necessary new technologies. The Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th Centuries saw dramatic growth, and there's no reason why similar growth can't be repeated with the development of alternative low-carbon energy sources.
MJH - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to i.munro)
>
> If the "old bloke" you are referring to is Claude Allègre, ex minister in Jospin's government for Education and Research,

Who has been thoroughly discredited from what I remember of previous discussions on his work...

> then I'd take his word over a load of panicking blinkered muppets on an internet forum...

No problem with that but then why take his word over that of the IPCC - say several hundred of the world's most pre-eminent scientists vs an ex- Education Minister...

> All scientists do not agree that wind farms are the solution to the planets long term resources and pollution problems.

No one in their right mind thinks or says that they are, they are part of a solution.
Jonno on 24 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to alanw:

George Monbiot is the poster boy of the Metropolitan Guardianistas. I will concede his credentials are a hell of a lot more impressive than political non entities like Brown and Milliband who are manna from heaven for the energy corporations such is their ignorance and malleability. However,Monbiot is just singing from the same hymn sheet as government and the anti-conservationist movements like Greenpeace/FOE. A glib and untimatly shallow assessment of the issues. Given his willingness to fly around the world to conferences and interviews at the drop of a hat then his carbon neutral strategy is rendered somewhat futile. He and millions of other frequent flyers are rendering any puny Co2 savings made by WF's pointless. I have to say,my carbon footprint is a hell of a lot smaller than George Monbiots' size 13 Doc Martens !

The global population will rise from its current 6.8 billion in 2009 to 9.5 billion in 2050. All those consumers,flyers,car drivers,energy users....As someone once said re covering our iconic landscapes with wind power plants. As pointless as emptying the River Thames with a tea spoon !

That's not to say we shouldn't pursue REAL green policies most importantly energy conservation backed up by water based renewable energy systems,New build homes regulations such as those applied at The Wintles in Bishops Castle where a friend of ours lives...http://transitionculture.org/2009/02/24/a-wander-round-the-wintles/
Then perhaps we could tackle the inexorable growth of 4x4 chav wagons which seem to be taking over the highways.


i.munro - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> i.munro has said that worrying about population is like looking at woodworm in a burning building, which would seem to imply a fairly short term danger!

My understanding is that we are very close (within a few years) of pushing the climate from it's current zone of stability (the temperature range within which negative feedback tends to push it back into the zone it's been in for the last few million years.
Once we leave that zone we are committed to continuous climate change (unless we undertake even more exteremely risky geoengineering) until a new zone of stability is reached at some unknown point in the future & some unknown range of temperatures.

For the hard of understanding (& to annoy Bruce with another simile) we are within a few years of stepping off a cliff & Bruce thinks the fact that we won't hit the ground for century or so means it's all going to be ok.
Mike Stretford - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Papillon)
>
> I'll take any bets at a 100 to 1 that the planet will still be around with humans on it in 10, 20, 30 years hence

As I said before the planet is not under threat, and no one will argue against humans being around in decade time-scales... that's silly.


> * PS. anyone really interested in a bit of concrete truth could do worse than examine what has happened over the last few thousand years along the S coast between Hastings and Folkstone. The sea level has gone up and down several times, huge forests have been drowned, their carbonised remains brought up again, the Saxon coast was far inland, Bodiam castle was a port, now it is far inland, whole towns have been built then engulfed by the sea in the 13th century as levels rose again, to drop later on... and now the sea walls are being built up as the sea level is rising once again.... not projections or computer models the evidence is there to be seen and touched, like for the Alpine glaciers, but in this case very well recorded.

You are wrong there, I think you are getting confused with this

http://www.westsussex.info/sussex-coastline.shtml

which is relatively minor compared to what your talking about. The sort of changes you're on about have happened over 100thousands of years.
alanw - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno:
> (In reply to alanw)
>
> George Monbiot is the poster boy of the Metropolitan Guardianistas. I will concede his credentials are a hell of a lot more impressive than political non entities like Brown and Milliband who are manna from heaven for the energy corporations such is their ignorance and malleability. However,Monbiot is just singing from the same hymn sheet as government and the anti-conservationist movements like Greenpeace/FOE. A glib and untimatly shallow assessment of the issues. Given his willingness to fly around the world to conferences and interviews at the drop of a hat then his carbon neutral strategy is rendered somewhat futile. He and millions of other frequent flyers are rendering any puny Co2 savings made by WF's pointless. I have to say,my carbon footprint is a hell of a lot smaller than George Monbiots' size 13 Doc Martens !

I'm no great supporter of George so I'm not about to defend him here. I just thought it was interesting that the Guardian had a remarkably similar thread going to this one. I do, however, agreewith him that smart grids and storage would make a big difference to intermittent renewables but I would have thought that was fairly obvious. The question is how much and how soon.
>
> The global population will rise from its current 6.8 billion in 2009 to 9.5 billion in 2050. All those consumers,flyers,car drivers,energy users....As someone once said re covering our iconic landscapes with wind power plants. As pointless as emptying the River Thames with a tea spoon !
>
I'll leave Bruce and others to debate the population issue but there's no doubt it's crucial - I just don't know how to address it. My fear is that it'll be the four horsemen that have the biggest say in future global populations.

> That's not to say we shouldn't pursue REAL green policies most importantly energy conservation backed up by water based renewable energy systems,New build homes regulations such as those applied at The Wintles in Bishops Castle where a friend of ours lives...http://transitionculture.org/2009/02/24/a-wander-round-the-wintles/

You seem to have a very optimistic view of marine energy. The Severn Barrage could provide about 5% of UK electricity which would be significant, but initial estimates put the cost at a minimum of £15bn and this would probably rise. This would make it possibly the biggest engineering project ever - a hell of a risk with it's own environmental impact. Also, there aren't many other places globally barrages would work so the technology would not be as exportable a wind turbines. Tidal stream is at a very early stage of development and a Black & Veatch study suggests it could only ever provide about 3% of UK electricity. Wave power is also only in its infancy with Pelamis leading the way in Portugal I think but you'd need hundreds if not thousands of miles to provide anything useful. MacKay has it at about 2 or 3% of UK energy with very optimistic numbers.

Our buildings definitetly need to be improved. I heard a Swedish engineer say that the UK has very good buildings - they're just not suitable for the outdoors. However, the Government are well aware of this and demand reductions alone will not get us to 80% reductions in CO2.

> Then perhaps we could tackle the inexorable growth of 4x4 chav wagons which seem to be taking over the highways.

Bruce Hooker - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to ClimberEd:

I meant the long word... Donald helped me out by putting it in a register I could understand :-)
Bruce Hooker - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to tony:

> I'll let him answer for himself, but the idea that anyone is suggesting catastrophe on the timescale you're suggesting is more than a little far-fetched.

So there is enough time to tackle the underlying causes then... one point we agree on.

As for the way Africans end up producing for export rather than consumption, this was already the case when I was at school! Remember the various peanut schemes and such like? There's nothing new about it. The water problem can be solved in developed countries but again water consumption is proportional to population, it's all linked to population.

> The further irony is the automatic assumption that action to address global warming will affect economic growth. This seems to be one of the dominant themes from right-wing commentators,

So the Euro Greens are right wing? Well perhaps this is another thing we can agree about. What Allegre means is that often economic growth is opposed on the grounds of it leading to global warming and many pseudo-ecologists want to turn the clock back to pre-industrial life styles or deny the population of poor countries access to a material standard of living closer to that enjoyed by today's dominant countries.
Bruce Hooker - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to i.munro:

So I was right in thinking you meant that the time scale was very short... so want take my bet on? It'll have to be a virtual one though as in 3 decades I doubt I'll be around to collect my fiver, but I suppose you could sue my children for the £500 :-) I'll have to leave instructions in my will.

Please excuse irritability just now but I do get fed up with being referred to as a nutter, or even worse "old"... I'm only 60 but I don't feel old, not until I read threads about bolting cliffs, then I really do feel old and weary!
toad - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker: Bruce, I'm a "pseudo ecologist", insofar as my background is in plant ecology, but I'm using hydrological research techniques and I'm in a geography department.

I really, really wish political pundits would stop misusing ecology, particularly as a term of denigration.
Bruce Hooker - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Papillon:

No, I know Dungeness and Romney Marsh well, it's a bit of a hobby. Relative sea/land levels have changed several times over a relatively short time scale. It's well documented and there are several books in Rye library if you are interested.

It's in East Sussex, not West but I imagine the changes would have been similar.
i.munro - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> So I was right in thinking you meant that the time scale was very short... so want take my bet on?

Arrrrgh! Did you read my post? Of course you would win the bet but it doesn't mean action doesn't have to be taken now.

There is one survivor somewhere of a species of turtle called lonesome George. Now turtles live a long time so he's been kicking around for decades but his species became extinct when the last female died. He's a walking fossil just as humans could be, writing articles about how the species could have survived if only...



Jonno on 24 Jul 2009 - user-514f918e.l1.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk
Another newspaper piece which essentially repeats a lot of my concerns.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/article6695213.ece
alanw - on 24 Jul 2009
In reply to Jonno: I don't have time to address the points raised in this latest article but you still seem keen to promote marine energy which, as I tried to point out in my last post, suffers from many of the same problems that wind energy does - expensive, intermittent and in most cases virtually untried in comparison to wind. Plus, in global terms, marine is much more limited in potential, especially in countries like the US and China which, as you have pointed out, are much more crucial in the fight against climate change.

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