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Fossil Fuels & Doom

On 18 Dec 2014 at 11:44am SHS wrote:
The Greens should be happy, use of fossil fuels is dropping rapidly, peak oil never materialised, we have lots and lots of super-efficient low-impact wind turbines and solar farms helping preserve a good view and biodiversity and domestic users of gas and electricity are being punished with high taxes. Even better, lots of sustainable wood burning is keeping the air clean.
But at what price?????????????
On 18 Dec 2014 at 12:36pm Old Bloke wrote:
I love a coal fire and make sure to light one as often as possible.
Would be wonderful to walk the streets of South London again in a lovely thick fog (impossible now of course due to lack of fog and the thousands of imported muggers that would be out and about)
On 18 Dec 2014 at 2:31pm Zebedee wrote:
Peak oil as defined by maximum rate of extraction might not have not have been reached but that is only due to new, more expensive and more environmentally harmful method of extraction, i.e. fracking, col bed methane. All that has happened is that as we get more desperate for oil we will consider ever more damaging and expensive ways to extract it.

You ask at what price? Consider this:
It is considered by nearly all scientists involved in earth studies that there is a 95% probability that mans output of CO2 and methane is responsible for climate change and that unless we drastically reduce levels within the next few years we are on a course for a minimum two degree change in average world temperature.

It is expected that this will cause cataclysmic harm and upset, displacing populations and leading to large scale desertification and rises in sea levels. Many think that tipping point will be reached soon after that will trigger a feedback mechanism that could mean the earth ends up more like Mars.

Bearing in mind the 95% probability what should be do:

1) Mitigate against climate change by reducing our output of greenhouse gasses and accept that if we get it wrong then the cost has been mostly economic

2) Do nothing and accept that if we get it wrong, there are likely to be consequences almost too terrible to contemplate and that we will not be able to recover from.

On 18 Dec 2014 at 3:07pm trooper wrote:
In the course of my work I travel the world and allmost everywhere I go (middle to far east and africa) I have seen over the past 3/4 years a huge proliferation in the use of the internal combustion engine (ie diesel or petrol) I have asked the indigeneous people how they feel about this increase and their answer is "we are entitled to have what you in the 1st world have"they have little or no concept of "Global Warming" a la the Green Party.
"SHS" really ought to get out more and see the world as it is, not through rose tinted "Ecological" spectacles.The current problem in the oil industry will not last, it is only a blip, there is too much money at stake.
On 18 Dec 2014 at 4:28pm SHS wrote:
Mr Trooper, I would love to see a truly viable alternative fuel to replace oil but one has not been found. People should walk or cycle more, but do they? Can you make them? My point is that this has all been done the wrong way - wind turbines are useless, the RHI pushing wood fuel does more harm than good, carbon credits were a waste of paper and big money is thrown at a small minority to put up solar farms whilst poor Joe Public gets clobbered with higher electricity and gas bills. Is anybody turning the heating down or turning the lights off? NO. Are we in England using brushes to sweep up leaves and hand tools in our gardens? Mostly NO. How many people sleep with the lights on? How many empty offices have lights burning all night? We ignore the simple, easy and cheap solutions because very very few truly accept responsibility and make changes to their own lives, they prefer to blame others.
On 18 Dec 2014 at 4:53pm Old Bloke wrote:
Thank the Lord I don't live next door to Zebedee.
Be worse than having an entire congregation of Jehovahs Witnesses for a neighbour
On 18 Dec 2014 at 5:00pm Clifford wrote:
Is there an epidemic of mugging in South London, Old Bloke. I have friends who live there and they never mention it. I go there regularly too and haven't come across it. I'm sure it's not healthy for you to sit there day after day having fantasies about 'foreigners'.
On 18 Dec 2014 at 5:19pm Earl of Lewes wrote:
I agree with James Lovelock - we've passed the point where we could have prevented global warming. The emphasis should be on managing the challenges of climate change, not putting our faith in panaceas like wind turbines and reusable bags. Energy security and a food supply that isn't too dependent on imports are the top priorities.
On 18 Dec 2014 at 6:30pm Southover Queen wrote:
Good grief: so it's too late so we shouldn't bother? Really????

Wind turbines are "useless"? Really???? Glyndebourne's generates nearly 90% of their electricity, and what isn't used goes onto the grid.

Germany generates 75% of their electricity through renewables. The reason they've achieved this is because they have a government which thinks this is a serious issue.

In Sweden, owners of new build houses use virtually no power to heat their homes, even during near Arctic winters. That's because their government has insisted on the highest building standards.

To be honest, it's totally irrelevant what might be happening in a developing country; we need to put our own house in order.
On 18 Dec 2014 at 8:15pm Old Bloke wrote:
@Clifford - did I say there was a epidemic of mugging in South London.
No thought not.
What I suggested was that there would be if there a thick fog.
Neither do I have fantasies about foreigners though I do know what an element of them have brought to the streets of the UK let alone the tiny corner that is South London.
I'm happy you haven't experienced any problems on your many visits and I'm happy your friends appear to be happy there.

I acknowledge and respect your viewpoint and would not doubt the truth of your account for a moment.
However I was born and bred in inner South London, my parents were there until the day they died and some of my friends and my son and his children remain. I daresay I go there far more often than you, lived there longer than you may have and generally know a lot more about the place and it's street life (with respect).
It's not what it was.
Was always a bit rough strong and tidy as they say but never polluted by the scum that has developed in large numbers in relatively recent years along with shocking and violent crime on a more regular basis than ever was - despite the Old Bill, Boris Johnson and various authorities massaging and fiddling figures in an attempt to convince us otherwise.
On 18 Dec 2014 at 8:15pm Zebedee wrote:
What amazingly stupid comments. I makes me almost think the human race deserves the pain climate change will bring. At the very least it needs a good cull.

Manageable? Not if you live in low lying places like the Seychelles, Bangladesh... err Somerset. You'll need to be an amphibian to survive in these places. And as the changes are likely to feed upon themselves, causing a feedback loop, whether any management is possible is open to question... seems to me you are on a wing and a prayer mate.

Its the developed countries that emit the huge majority of greenhouse gases. We do need to get our house in order and we can. Why the hell is the UK not building decent insulated houses like the northern Europeans? Why is Cameron stopping building wind farms when they already generate 10% of our power. The efficiency of solar panels has multiplied many times in the last thirty years. Why are we not researching, improving and installing them everywhere, and also improving power storage too? We spend shed load on a useless military budget (invade Iraq, Afghanistan anyone? Yeah that worked well) but nothing on research into renewable energy.

Old Bloke. I'd not want to live next to you either. You are spineless, bigoted, small-minded and prejudiced. I can't imagine that you get on with your neighbours now (they are probably not the same shade as you!).

On 18 Dec 2014 at 10:33pm Mark wrote:
String em all up old bloke ex labour voter has always been rather weird. Renewables will find their feet in time, I think (hope). It'll happen when the money machine decides that it's expedient.
On 18 Dec 2014 at 10:33pm Mark wrote:
String em all up old bloke ex labour voter has always been rather weird. Renewables will find their feet in time, I think (hope). It'll happen when the money machine decides that it's expedient.
On 18 Dec 2014 at 11:08pm petrolhead wrote:
Your last post nails it. The world had high co2 levels in the past, Much higher; and life existed just fine. If you care about the EARTH, then it best to keep quiet.
If you care about trying to keep an ever increasing population alive on finite resources then; by all means. carry on.
Cameron is stopping offshore wind farms as we are guaranteeing 1.41 (I think) per KWH. This is like paying 2.50 per litre of petrol; not very smart.
Nuclear is 0.95 (like paying 2.00 per litre)
And they are giving huge subsidies away for wood burners and (worst of all) air sourced heat pumps.
Basically, everyone with a gas boiler will pay at least 2.5x the real cost of heating their homes. And those that actually MAKE MONEY are the rich that can afford to exploit these government schemes. And There are LOADS of air to water heat pumps getting cash
So, Big thanks Zebedee! You are not reducing CO2; but allowing the rich to get richer. Thanks!
On 18 Dec 2014 at 11:09pm Historian wrote:
The real doom is the amount of people expected to dwell on this tiny planet ! #breeders
On 18 Dec 2014 at 11:35pm lewes wrote:
At the end of the day the purpose of the human race is unclear but surely it's easy to see that we are evolving to travel through the universe and not to stay restricted to one planet? That's why we strive to travel to Mars..... We are supposed to over populate, to force us to use our ingenuity to develop technologies to enable us to make the leap from planet to planet... The journey starts with earth but doesn't end there.
On 19 Dec 2014 at 12:28am Earl of Lewes wrote:
Southover Queen - renewables make up 30% of Germany's electricity supply, not 75%. The wind turbine at Glyndebourne is fine in isolation, but how many would we need to power a town the size of Lewes (when the wind was blowing, of course)? What would be their cost and impact on the landscape?
I agree with you that Scandinavian-style insulation is the way ahead, but most of our homes are way below the required specifications. I'm quite excited by the development of solar roof tiles - like the panels, but they turn the whole roof into a giant solar cell. But until fusion power is developed, we need to make a hard choice between importing gas, burning coal or replacing decommissioned nuclear stations. At least we are using less electricity than five years ago, thanks to enegy saving technology.
On the subject of saving energy, you should go easy with the question marks in "Really????" - one is quite enough.
On 19 Dec 2014 at 9:04am Zebedee wrote:
Mark. The whole point is that we cannot wait for renewable to "find their feet". This will only happen once they become cheap and reliable enough enough or when fossil fuels become too expensive to get out of the ground. By then its likely to be too late. This is why we subsidise renewables, to give the industry a head start and to encourage private research and development.

See link below addressing old chestnut about CO2 levels being higher 444 million years ago.

Agreed. Since the 50s the world population has risen almost exponentially. Add in capitalism's natural inclination to encourage us to consume short-term commodities and you have an unsustainable situation. Reducing population and consumerism are also pieces of the same jigsaw, and two that our governments seem unwilling to address.

Wind power expensive? Our government have just guaranteed EDF 92.50 per kilowatt hour for energy produced by the their nuclear plant. But we are back to subsidies. To encourage fast development of an industry, innovation, research, economies of scale government uses subsidies. Practical. The idea is that after a while the industry will not need subsidising. And this can be seen to be happening with both solar and wind. Unfortunately Cameron seems intent upon nipping renewable in the bud.

As for the rich getting richer... isn't that always the way? How are you going to stop that then? As it is localized energy production (like solar, ground source heat pump, community based biomass etc) takes the power away from corporation and the rich and places it firmly with individuals and local communities. The same cannot be said for centralised industries nuclear, oil or shale gas.

Why should the human race have a purpose at all? Your view allows you to abdicate your responsibility for yourself and humanity. An easy and lazy way out of doing anything to help anyone perhaps? "Oh it's all a divine plan, nothing I can do about it mate"?
Imagine that the human race hasn't a purpose and that it is up to us what we make of our existence. A much healthier (and realistic) outlook. It is 95% certain that man-made climate change exists (and is already evident) and that it will cause cataclysmic changes to this earth that will cause a hitherto unseen amount of death and suffering. Now, if you could have any hand in stopping that you would wouldn't you?

@ Earl of Lewes
You've forgotten thorium salt reactors (on which the Chinese are betting the bank). But actually we just don't have the luxury of burning more coal, oil and gas, unless we work out ways of stopping CO2 and methane emissions. If you think that 95% possibility is a near certainty then time is now incredibly short.

Check it out here »
On 19 Dec 2014 at 10:07am Know All wrote:
It is 95% certain that man-made climate change exists
How so ? If you are referring to surveys of between 200 and 4000 scientists out of millions ( employing laughable methodology and conducted by organisations with a vested interest in creating panic) then its hardly proven. Similar "proofs " showed the non toxicity of smoking and the efficacy of collectivist farming.
In any case there are obvious reasons why climate scientists would prefer a crisis and other scientists have no special expertise to offer.
I have no objection to caution and its a shame that the Green lobby managed to stall our progress with Nuclear fuel the clean and genuinely sustainable answer staring us in the face. Still that mistake has already been made,leaving us with expensive alternatives such as wind for which a full back up will always be required (its not always windy or sunny ) which will have to come from burning fossil fuels.

My own view is that the Green Party themselves have become a liability to responsible environmentalism by associating a un-controversial subject with Paleozoic leftist dreams, anti capitalism and the whole menu from leaving NATO to abandoning international trade and stirring up class hatred to the impoverishment of us all.
The rich are not the only people who have got richer , we all have, since the 70s from top to bottom . Thats why we are experiencing mass immigration form those countries whose own Marxist regimes failed so miserably and completely
On 19 Dec 2014 at 10:32am Ed Can Do wrote:
There's a very simple reason that climate change and reliance on fossil fuels hasn't been tackled yet and it comes down to pure short term greed.

Oil companies and their shareholders want to maximise profits now and they do that by digging up more oil. They could make vast profits in the long term by investing in renewables now, cornering the market and planning ahead but shareholders demand return on their investment now which means quick profits.

Politicians have no stomach for long-term planning because in the short term, a paradigm change to renewables would be expensive which means increased bills or taxes or cuts elsewhere and as we all know, politicians care about getting re-elected, not about the people they claim to represent. Also by supporting more fossil fuel reliance they get cosy, well paid directorships of oil companies when they leave politics, which must be nice.

Then there are people like Know All up there who are blind to the mountains of research from people who know what they are doing, stretching back as far as the 1980's if not before saying that humans are directly responsible for global warming and instead hinge their opinion on a few reports issued by people paid by oil companies because paying a bit more for fuel now is worse than wiping out coastal areas the world over in 50 years time apparently.

The old addage of giving a man a fish and he'll eat today or give him a fishing net and he'll eat for the rest of his life is nonsense because people are far too lazy to go fishing and I would wager that 95% of people on this planet would choose the fish every time. By continuing to burn oil and coal and dismissing wind power and other renewables we, as a nation are effectively choosing the fish over the net but it doesn't really matter to those of us posting now, we'll all be dead by the time things get really bad but if any of you have children, to deny climate change is a pretty selfish act as it's your kids who'll have to deal with it.
On 19 Dec 2014 at 12:37pm lewes wrote:
You have to accept the fact that the planet will reach a maximum human population and no matter how efficient we become it will not make much difference once he population has reach a certain level.
That is why we need to look at investing in space exploration and will need to find other resources. It is not about becoming lazy it is about evolution and being realistic. Humans need a lot of energy and the earth can only sustain a certain population.
On 19 Dec 2014 at 3:30pm Belladonna wrote:
I do believe the earth will survive and renew itself. Humans may wipe themselves out - through creating intolerable climactic change, or through supe diseases that resist known antibiotics, or through a massive world war and nuclear annihilation. Corporate 'advanced' capitalism is the machine chewing up the earths resources but there will eventually be a reckoning.
On 19 Dec 2014 at 3:45pm biofool wrote:
Germany gets 75% of its energy from renewables? No it does not. The actual figure is approximately 30%.
Still very impressive but nevertheless nowhere near 75%.
Better building regulations would be good though. Pity our governments are more concerned with how investors track property prices than how energy efficient those properties actually are.

Check it out here »
On 19 Dec 2014 at 3:58pm Know All wrote:
Then there are people like Know All up there who are blind to the mountains of research from people who know what they are doing, stretching back as far as the 1980's
Of course if the sea levels had actually risen as predicted as long ago as the 50s I would be less skeptical; and then there was the matter oif the give away e-mails ....hmmmm
Just how do we get rid of that embarrassing medieval warm period eh ?
Anyway I`m not a denier of deficits or warming although I see no need to go along with the zealots .
Stop International AID which is largely useless and start building nuclear power plants
How about that for a plan ?
On 19 Dec 2014 at 4:02pm Know All wrote:
I do believe the earth will survive and renew itself. Humans may wipe themselves out - through creating intolerable climactic change,
There will be a new dark age and instead of having to go to work I will be a post-apocalypse warrior with only scantily clad serving wenches and my trusty axe for company.

On 19 Dec 2014 at 6:18pm Ed Can Do wrote:
To forecast the weather accurately for the UK three days in advance has required the Met Office to buy one of the most powerful computers in existence. The chances of anyone accurately predicting the exact amount the sea would rise as a result of warming across the entire planet back in the 50's are essentially zero.

Scientists have however been predicting an increase in global temperatures for a long time and global temperatures have increased. This is a fact. The polar ice at both ends of the planet covers significantly less area every year, another fact. All that polar ice melting is releasing tons of salt into the sea making it saltier and less able to sustain life. A fact.

Sure, the sea might not have risen high enough to flood Brighton yet but the weather is getting more extreme every year and Somerset was merrily under water last year without needing a rise in sea levels. Could just be a coincidence, it's unlikely but why even take the chance?

There was a period in the middle ages where the planet was a bit warmer, sure, but weather systems are unpredictable and you have to build a margin of error into any statistical analysis. What you need to ask yourself is if you're willing to gamble on the 5% of studies, many of which were paid for by oil companies or logging companies, being right. 1 in 20 is pretty dodgy odds in a casino, let alone with the fate of the planet at stake.

As for reducing foreign aid to build nuclear plants, we need to keep giving money to other countries so they'll let us buy their oil cheap and buy guns off of us. Foreign aid isn't to help people, it's a bribe to governments to keep trade routes open and cheap. The problem with nuclear energy is where do you put all that highly radioactive material once you're done with it. I guess you could just dump it in the sea as it'll be too salty to support life in a few years anyway and trawler fleets ignoring fishing quotas will have caught anything left long before the radiation makes our beaches glow.
On 19 Dec 2014 at 8:18pm Know All wrote:
'This is a fact. The polar ice at both ends of the planet covers significantly less area every year, another fact.'
No it is not. It is plain wrong, the North Polar Ice cap is increasing in size with glaciers growing in the aggregate, the population of Polar bears is at a healthy long terms high . The South Pole is reducing slightly.
Google is your friend- check the facts
There is actually an explanation for this that fits a pattern of global warming and to show i am not an unfair chap I shall arm you with another just so story.
The North Pole is on land and it is frosting up due to increased moisture in the air like a Freezer frosting up if you turned it off. the South Pole is in water so it is just melting. Thats the theory anyway.
The point about the medieval warm period is not that it was warmer but that it was considerably warmer than it is now and spoilt the legendary hockey stick graph and the efforts of the IPCC to save it form the "evidence" allegedly.
Of course if you believe the IPCC are neutral you need your brain tested ( for existence) and it from then that your 5% figure comes . It is not to do wityh numbers of studies it is only the likelihood ( says the IPCC) that warming since the 50s was not caused primarily by human activity. The IPCC are a campaigning group and a discredited one and this statement is quite obviously not provable or testable in any way .Even if it was it does not answer the more pertinent question which is the scale of the affect and the place of the risk in the overall risk landscape.
For example all scientists agree that passive smoking is potentially carcinogenic but whether it is more so than walking around in the air or justifies eradicating individual choice in this matter is not science. It is propaganda designed to justify a smoking ban ...or may be.( Actual smoking is a real and significant danger of course)
So you see the agreement of scientists is not as simple a thing as you would like it to be and your odds are meaningless.
Glad we agree that International aid is a waste of time, its about 20 billion a year and we need that cash for skoolz and ospitalz
On 19 Dec 2014 at 8:23pm Nigel Falange. wrote:
Global warming is a a scam put about by the new world order.
On 20 Dec 2014 at 9:49am Scott of the arsantic wrote:
When there`s polar bears down there- I'll worry

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Lewes Castle from below 61:132
Lewes Castle from below

I see you still pay no attention to the bits that might tax the old grey cells. more
I like BONFIRE NIGHT, and of course all the out-meetings which go on around this time - and the loud bang at the crack of dawn!