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Net Zero by 2050 is dead in the water. So what’s plan B?

July 27, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

 

The media is finally starting to wake up. Pity they did not years ago:

 

 

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Boris Johnson has always tried to take a ‘cakeist’ position on Net Zero. We can drastically cut carbon emissions while boosting living standards, he claims. But the truth is, the sacrifices being demanded of us in the name of Net Zero are incompatible with democracy, and the PM knows it.

Just look at the anguish the gas boiler ban is causing to the government. Johnson has now conceded that the ban will have to be pushed back from 2030 to 2035. It will have to be some other prime minister’s problem.

The boiler ban was a key plank of the government’s Net Zero strategy. Gas boilers were to be replaced with heat pumps. These heat pumps are not what anyone could call a reasonable alternative to boilers. While a boiler can heat your house fairly quickly at the flick of a switch, a heat pump can take around 24 hours to heat your home to between 17 to 19 degrees celsius – i.e., not-quite room temperature.

For the pleasure of living in your not-quite warm house, you will have to fork out around £10,000 for the unit and installation. Then, according to the Climate Change Committee (CCC), you can expect to spend an additional £100 per year on your energy bills.

If you want to own a heat pump and have a house that’s more than lukewarm, you’ll need lots of extra insulation. This means yet more tens of thousands of pounds in renovation costs. The Energy Technologies Institute estimates that a ‘deep retrofit’ could cost as much as building a home from scratch. This is not money that any ordinary person has down the back of the sofa – or that the taxpayer can reasonably cover for millions of households.

Getting used to this reduced lifestyle ‘will take an attitudinal shift’, says Chris Stark, CEO of the CCC. This is quite the understatement. It means abandoning what was once a completely normal expectation in a developed country: having a warm home in winter.

In our Net Zero future, we can also forget having a stable and affordable supply of electricity. Boris says he wants to make the UK the ‘Saudi Arabia of wind power’. But we should be wary of green energy experiments. Places like California that have rushed to swap nuclear and fossil fuels with renewable energy are regularly faced with rolling blackouts. Since Germany embarked on its Energiewende (energy transition), its electricity prices are now among the highest in the world, though, ironically, this hasn’t done much to lower CO2 emissions.

Net Zero is easily the largest national project the UK has embarked on since the Second World War. But even as politicians boast about it on the world stage, parading their harsh ‘targets’ at every opportunity, they have tried to downplay its significance to the public. It’s just a tax rise here, a subsidy there, maybe a bit less meat-eating or not rinsing the plate before loading it into the dishwasher. Technology will take care of the rest, anyway, they say.

But when the public really finds out what Net Zero means, will they tolerate it? The gilets jaunes protests in France were the most significant public revolt since 1968. They were sparked by an eco-tax. This tax didn’t affect the metropolitan liberals who dreamt it up. They were baffled that anyone would stand in the way of carbon neutrality. But they had to reverse course. This tax was but a drop in the ocean compared to Net Zero.

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32 Comments
  1. Broadlands permalink
    July 27, 2021 7:36 pm

    Not again? “But when the public really finds out what Net Zero means, will they tolerate it?”
    When the politicians, policy-makers and even “Green” scientists, find out that Net-zero means negative emissions, carbon capture and long-term storage in the billions of tons… above and beyond zero emissions, they might come to their senses. Probably the most widely misunderstood and misused term in the whole AGW climate change arena.

    • sarastro92 permalink
      July 27, 2021 9:25 pm

      Such child-like naivete Broadlands. OF COURSE the puppeteers know exactly what they’re doing and what the devastating impacts are. That’s exactly the point… massive de-industrialization and de-population are the long-stated goals going back 50 years to the Club of Rome and the Limits to Growth scam…

      • Phil Simpson permalink
        July 28, 2021 5:35 pm

        Everyone has an opinion. It may agree with yours or it may not. No need for your stupid critism.

      • sarastro92 permalink
        July 29, 2021 12:20 am

        And then there are facts.

  2. Broadlands permalink
    July 27, 2021 8:10 pm

    One definition: “Net zero refers to cutting greenhouse gas emissions as far as possible and balancing any further releases by removing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere.”

    Another: “A target of completely negating the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activity, to be achieved by reducing emissions and implementing methods of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”

    • Dave Gardner permalink
      July 28, 2021 12:46 pm

      Yes, there is quite a bit of confusion between ‘net zero’ and ‘real zero’. But net zero is insane enough. The difference between the two is that in net zero, various money-making schemes for Green business people are allowed to be pursued, like very large scale tree planting, peatland restoration and building and operating machines that suck Co2 out of the air.

      The world’s most prominent Greenie today is probably Greta Thunberg. She prefers ‘real zero’ to ‘net zero’, and here’s a link to a video of her telling the Davos crowd that:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-51193460

  3. July 27, 2021 9:30 pm

    “But when the public really finds out what Net Zero means, will they tolerate it?” With the majority of the MSM not telling the truth about the costs of net zero, will the public ever find out what it means to them until it is too late? And what can they do then, since all main parties are signed up to the net zero madness?

  4. Harry Passfield permalink
    July 27, 2021 9:33 pm

    The CCC CEO: Chris Stark (raving mad).
    Couldn’t help myself.
    I bet he and Deben make a pair.
    They should know, what they are proposing in terms of the impoverishment of our population and the Big Brother controls they seek to implement is bigger than going to war. They must get a mandate from the people.
    Bet they can’t be bothered. They have a Messiah complex and have to save us even if that means destroying us.

  5. Robert Christopher permalink
    July 27, 2021 9:42 pm

    It looks like more people are waking up to our dysfunctionality:

    Ban Chinese firm from working on UK nuclear power stations, ministers told
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/07/27/ban-chinese-firm-working-uk-nuclear-power-stations-ministers/

  6. Graeme No.3 permalink
    July 27, 2021 9:48 pm

    I wonder if branding the Net Zero proposal as an EU Bureaucratic diktat would change perception that it is anything other than idiocy? Probably not, as most decision makers still want to get back into the EU.
    The problem for the puppet politicians is that there was a wave across the midlands with people changing their usual vote. Once they start to hear about the coming costs and restrictions they may well change again, to someone other than one of the established parties. Nothing upsets a politician more than the thought of losing his seat.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 28, 2021 10:00 am

      But unless the ignorant idiots that make up the majority of the population change their habits, they will just vote for one of the other parties that has exactly the same NetZero plans, if not even worse. We live in a Groupthink state not a functioning democracy.

  7. spike55 permalink
    July 27, 2021 10:31 pm

    The boiler issue is really quite funny, and totally counter-productive.

    UK electricity is very often from a large percentage of GAS ! (orange in graphs below)

    • spike55 permalink
      July 27, 2021 10:33 pm

      graphs are from 22nd and 26th July.. aqua is “wind” (get out your magnifying glasses)

    • July 28, 2021 7:39 am

      Spike,

      there is a misconception that you can use the average mix to calculate the CO2 used by the likes of heat pumps and electric vehicles. This misconception is widely held and is due to being unaware of how the grid works, more demand more CO2.
      These devices are an extra load on the grid, over and above normal demand and as such can only be met by power plants that can increase output to match that demand, in the U.K. gas in the main but still with some coal.
      The only way that our current level of CO2 per megawatt can remain the same is if the average output of new renewables and nuclear can match the demand from the expansion load from heat pumps and evs.
      While it seems that heat pump installation may stall, evs seem to be steadily increasing and I don’t see, given the slow build of renewables (Average output is what counts, not nameplate capacity) and the closure of some of the older wind farms, the loss of nuclear capacity in a few years that there is any doubt that our CO2 emissions per Megawatt will rise, quite the opposite of what is intended.

      Wind has been very poor this late spring into summer, correction abysmally poor.

      • MikeHig permalink
        July 28, 2021 6:42 pm

        Iain: thanks for that!
        I’ve made the same comment a few times in other places. It did not go down well on an EV forum!
        I got responses insisting that their leccy was 100% renewable because that’s the tariff they have. Others claimed that the grid average of CO2/kWh was applicable.
        Folk don’t seem to realise that all of the available “zero-carbon” power is always fully-allocated. Therefore, as you said, an incremental/discretionary demand will not be met by renewables but by whatever dispatchable plant is available: probably gas; possibly coal.
        (I’m ignoring the marginal case of gets some extra volts from French nukes).

      • dave permalink
        July 29, 2021 9:51 am

        “…I got responses insisting that their leccy was 100% renewable because that’s the tariff they have…”

        Hilarious and horrifying at the same time.

        It partly explains why the sheeple think that costless virtue signaling is enough to ‘save the planer.’ If you truly believe that all we have to do is ‘Switch!.’..

        There was a video on this forum a few years ago explaining how – with similar misconceptions – the people of the Netherlands fondly thought they were almost entirely ‘renewable’ when they were nowhere near it, Their error, of course, was compounded by equating ‘energy consumption’ to electric consumption.’

  8. July 27, 2021 10:35 pm

    Tip The boss of Ireland’s Broadcaster RTE writes like someone saying
    -Yes Comrade Stalin we have erred on heatwave reporting-

    “We were wrong not to make clear connection between recent extreme weather events & climate change,” he wrote.

    Mr Williams wrote an article detailing how RTÉ has and will be covering climate change and said every journalist on the news team will be taking part in a workshop looking at climate science and the reporting of it.

    He also said that RTÉ News will be creating a team dedicated to reporting the climate crisis.
    https://m.independent.ie/irish-news/rte-news-boss-apologises-for-broadcaster-not-linking-recent-extreme-weather-events-to-climate-change-40692616.html

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      July 28, 2021 12:56 am

      I am sure Comrade Harrabin could suggest someone.

      I wonder if they will broadcast the news tfrom Germany hat
      Comparing the first half of 2021 against the first 6 months of 2020 “The production of onshore and offshore wind energy decreased by 20%.”
      The reason for the steep drop was due to unfavorable weather conditions. “This year, especially in the first quarter, the wind was particularly still and the sun output was low.”
      The generation by coal power plants increased by 38%.
      https://notrickszone.com/2021/07/27/german-wind-power-consumption-plummets-20-in-first-half-2021-coal-power-consumption-jumps-38/

      Makes you in the UK glad that you will be relying on wind in the future, eh?

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        July 28, 2021 4:21 am

        In the UK wind production was down 25% in Q1. So interconnectors would not have bailed us or Germany out in a high renewables world.

  9. Julian Flood permalink
    July 28, 2021 4:53 am

    Natural gas is one C to four H
    They join up as CHsubscript4. Now imagine burning that in your cars, your trains, your power stations – you are halfway to the hydrogen economy!

    Extend the gas grid to allow everyone to use gas central heating. Clean, low carbon, natural gas has only one disadvantage: we have to import half of it. If only we could find trillions of cubic metres of the stuff under Yorkshire, Lancashire, in the Widmerpool Gulf shale in Nottinghamshire, under Glasgow…
    JF
    Burnt in an ICE, gas produces hardly any particulates and undetectable NOX.

    • dave permalink
      July 28, 2021 8:20 am

      It is strange that modern politicians always talk wildly, as if they are individually in the mania stage of manic-depressive disease. Do they never listen to themselves? Perhaps that is the truth. To get anywhere in politics, you have to repeat mantras and soundbites you do not believe in, every minute of the day and night. It is only possible for people who have chosen to pay the price of deliberately driving themselves into a schizo state.. And the diagnosis then is not ‘mania’ but the fugue state, of frightfully damaged people, called ‘dissociation’.

      What is certain that these people are incapable of listening to rational argument. The only thing that can derail them is a condition of total force majeure. We saw that with Brexit. The opponents of Brexit were wining the long game, but Covid Project Fear trumped the planned, renewal of Brexit Project Fear. And Whoops! we slipped out of the deadly bear hug, Any derangement of economic and social activity can hardly be noticed, with the crazy seat-of-the-pants authoritarian bullying everywhere

      We are now, of course, in the long game to make Project Covid Fear permanent.

      If it is not one thing it is another!

      The Sun does not care about our pathetic little selves It is spotless again:

      https://wwwbis.sidc.be/silso/

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      July 28, 2021 10:16 am

      Exactly correct. I bang on about this all the time! The switch of any other energy source to electric is only ever going to be met by the marginal supplier of additional generation i.e. gas or even coal and will inevitably increase the carbon intensity of the grid. You would produce less emissions driving a gas turbine engine car than an EV supplied with electricity generated by a gas turbine with transmission losses, distribution losses, charging (rectification) losses and inversion back losses to supply the electric motor.
      Crazy in the extreme.

  10. Ben Vorlich permalink
    July 28, 2021 8:12 am

    Something like this only more extreme perhaps?

    Dell is BANNED from selling its powerful gaming PCs in California because it consumes more energy than the liberal state’s green laws allow

    Dell is banned from selling its new Alienware gaming system in California
    This includes the three The Alienware Aurora R12 Gaming Desktop systems with the 11th Gen Intel Core Processor
    Dell’s Alienware consumes 63 kWH a year when idle, but it can use up to 563 kWh when the CPU is stressed
    California law restricts anything made after July 1 to 50, 60 or 70 kWH a year

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9832253/Dell-BANNED-selling-powerful-gaming-PCs-California.html

  11. Phoenix44 permalink
    July 28, 2021 8:17 am

    People have been lied to, simplest that. They think life will conduct as normal with a few tweaks here and there and with “other people” paying more. And politicians have been lied to or have buried their heads in the sand or willfully ignored economicsin terms of jobs.

    We will all be much poorer, there will femuch higher unemployment and inequality willwiden drastically in terms oof what matters, consumption. Net zero is removing significant amounts of wealth from all but the wealthy can afford it.

    When the wealthy can still drive, still heat their hours, still fly abroad, still eat well, but we cannot, that’s when we will see real discontent.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      July 28, 2021 11:14 am

      That looks a bit like the essence of conservative policies forever to me: they’ve now found a hook to hang it on.

  12. cookers52 permalink
    July 28, 2021 8:21 am

    The underground UK gas pipe network is the energy provider for our homes and businesses.
    It took decades of large scale civil engineering to install, literally cutting across the landscape .
    Now we propose to abandon it, just as we abandoned the railways.
    But unlike the railways the alternative is unknown.

    Only politicians do such things, because they just sit in rooms altering words.

    • July 28, 2021 8:44 am

      Good comparison between Dr Beeching decimating UK Railways
      and the Islington Blue/Red socialist parties decimating UK Energy-ways

  13. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 28, 2021 8:41 am

    Oh dear. Do take a look at gridwatch.templar (put a shortcut on your iPhone) and see Weekly and Monthly right now. Wind is astonishingly low. I mean, hardly any! Oh dear. Where is all this new lecky to come from?

  14. July 28, 2021 8:46 am

    Outsiders video : Ice Age Watch
    Turns out when north hemisphere areas get heat blips,
    southern ones get cold blips.
    Oz Meteorology office wrong again
    …. https://youtu.be/-tU4UoIOiRE

  15. July 28, 2021 9:24 am

    Plan B is easy (it should be plan A): don’t have a plan … just sit back and allows new technology and market forces to work.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 28, 2021 10:59 am

      But the problem with having created lots of bureaucratic posts is that they always feel they have to do something, and our moronic politicians also want to be seen to be doing something as in the lying oaf appearing almost daily before his isolation in high vis at some photo op.

  16. Roger Gascoigne permalink
    July 31, 2021 4:08 pm

    This is good

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