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Blackouts will trigger a people’s revolt against the new eco-tyranny

December 8, 2022

By Paul Homewood



Winter is upon us, courtesy of the Arctic blast unleashed by the Troll from Trondheim. We will soon find out whether we can keep the lights and heating on, or whether Britain is about to be plunged into a nightmare of energy rationing, rolling blackouts, three-day weeks and untold human misery.

The proximate cause of our present crisis is Vladimir Putin’s despicable invasion of Ukraine, and the resultant reduction in global gas supplies. Yet the Government must shoulder its share of the blame: it prioritised reducing carbon emissions above all else, and neglected keeping prices low or ensuring availability and security of supplies. This winter may turn out to be a dry run for a much greater, self-inflicted disaster, a harbinger of a new normal of permanently insufficient, costly energy supplies that could jeopardise our way of life, upend our politics and trigger a popular rebellion.

We are nearing a turning point for democratic support for environmentalism. Gordon Brown’s 2008 Climate Change Act legislated to slash CO2 emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, a seismic shift pushed through with little debate but much superficial public approval. Theresa May strengthened this to 100 per cent by 2050, the “net zero” target; again, the public liked the sound of this, if not of Mrs May. China will continue to increase its emissions by more than we cut ours, but our entire ruling class has signed up to this iron-clad legal framework, with no dissent tolerated.

Thanks to technology and markets, it ought to be possible to decarbonise without ruining our society and economy, but 14 years on the revolution is proceeding just about as disastrously as anybody could have imagined. In typical British fashion, our political class has taken all the easy decisions first, and none of the tough ones. The blunders, the groupthink, the demented short-termism and the mind-boggling bureaucratic incompetence have amounted to one of the greatest national scandals of the past few decades.

It’s easy to stop extracting fossil fuels or to boast about the decline of our carbon-emitting manufacturing sector, especially when we simply switch to importing goods, oil and gas from abroad, congratulating ourselves on our brilliance. We didn’t bother to construct gas-storage facilities or stress-test supply chains for geopolitical risk. We built offshore wind farms and solar but Britain also needed its own Pierre Messmer, the Gaullist who launched France’s huge nuclear programme. Instead, we got Nick Clegg: in a humiliating video from 2010, he rejects increasing nuclear capacity because it would have taken until 2021 or 2022 to come online.

The real world consequences are catastrophic. When the wind stops blowing and the solar panels are covered in snow, when all our cars are electric and boilers replaced by heat pumps, where will energy come from? Demand for electricity will surge, but there won’t be enough supply. The grid will implode. It may one day be possible to store electricity in giant batteries, but not today. Public rage if and when it all goes wrong will make Brexit look like a walk in the park.

Rishi Sunak’s plans are laughably modest: we are now so far behind any rational transition schedule that only an extreme effort, a Manhattan Project for nuclear power, can possibly rescue us from disaster. HS2 should be halted, and its billions urgently diverted to building nuclear power plants.

Political parties have been lulled into a false sense of complacency: the public want to be greener, but not at the cost of suffering extreme material regression. Voters are worried about climate change and wish to decarbonise, but only a tiny minority are fully paid-up to the most extreme, fanatical, anti-human, anti-capitalist version of the environmentalist doctrine. Human nature hasn’t suddenly changed: we still want to enjoy economic growth, to live better, longer, richer lives. We want to own goods and travel freely. Few of us want to be poor and cold and miserable. We don’t aspire to return to a feudal lifestyle, with our overlords dictating how we can live our lives.

Until now, green virtue has come easily and cheaply. Everybody hates littering and waste. It’s not hard to recycle, or to shift to reusable bags. It’s a different matter when people begin to be truly inconvenienced (idiots sitting down on motorways) or forced to buy expensive new cars: the anger is immediate. Wait until voters are told they can’t fly to Spain, that meat will be taxed, or that power cuts will be the new normal to comply with net zero: there will be a populist explosion.

Politicians everywhere are over-reaching, having drawn an incorrect lesson from Covid, namely that we will be willing to give up on our jobs, prosperity and freedoms in the name of a climate emergency. Germany faces crippling deindustrialisation, to great angst. The Dutch are nationalising and shutting “polluting” farms, triggering widespread fury. Switzerland’s winter contingency plans are modelled on lockdowns. Electric cars would be banned from non-essential journeys, shop hours cut and streaming services downgraded; sports matches, concerts and theatres could be cancelled.

The public might wear this once because of Ukraine, but it won’t tolerate intermittent energy becoming the norm. In typically condescending fashion, France’s plans are described as délestage – load shedding, getting rid of ballast, of “non-essential” energy users – as if bankrupting businesses were obviously necessary for the common good. We are halfway along F A Hayek’s Road to Serfdom.

So why this new snobbery? One answer can be gleaned from another visionary dystopian classic, Michael Young’s The Rise of the Meritocracy. A side effect of individualistic meritocracy, which I otherwise support, is that those who rise to the top become entitled and look down upon everybody else. As Young put it, “by imperceptible degrees an aristocracy of birth has turned into an aristocracy of talent”. The result is the return of anti-capitalist, neo-feudal attitudes: the elites nudge and compel the masses to do what is good for them, safe in the knowledge that the powerful will retain their privileges, their exclusive “Zil” traffic lanes, their private jets.

It won’t wash. The politicians have a choice: make greenery consumer-friendly, harnessing technology to preserve the public’s quality of life, or face a calamitous democratic uprising.

  1. Tim Leeney permalink
    December 8, 2022 6:08 pm

    Not a good idea to blow up those pipelines.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 8, 2022 7:02 pm

      I am sure that Putin thought it would force the Germans to think very carefully about how they might be able to refill their gas storage next year, and since repairs and replacement of sections will take time, it becomes a decision for sooner rather than later. The Russians have just completed extensive surveys of the damage and of the pipeline upstream as far as South of Gotland where the water is shallower and splicing may be easier, using the vessel Nefrit. Expect to hear something about the feasibility of repair soon, including timescale and cost. If the Germans want it, they will of course be invited to pay.

      • December 9, 2022 3:51 am

        Putin did not blow up his own pipeline, why would he? Biden bragged the US would stop the pipeline and main stream media is hopelessly corrupted and compromised!

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        December 9, 2022 9:46 am

        I have just explained why blowing up the pipelines makes sense. On your logic he would not be destroying the infrastructure in the Ukraine that he hopes to occupy. Meantime he has progressively ratcheted up the energy squeeze on Europe by reducing and closing pipeline flows to all but sympathetic countries in a bid to get them to agree his conquest. Having halted Nordstream deliveries the only way of increasing the pressure for a policy reversal was to make restart co diagonal on more than just turning the taps back on again.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        December 9, 2022 10:21 am

        I am agnostic as to who was responsible but I see arguments on both sides whilst doubting if the Russians had the ability to do so. They have shown themselves to be largely incompetent for a number of years now, from Ukraine (shooting down an airliner) to Salisbury to back to Ukraine.

      • bobn permalink
        December 9, 2022 12:14 pm

        Indeed. I dont know anyone who isnt certain beyond reasonable doubt that the US/UK blew up the pipelines. The area is a NATO lake and US boats (USS Kearsarge which has submersibles and an underwater dock) were conducting ‘exercises’ in the area. Motive, means, access and public threat to do it – only the USA ticks all the boxes. But according to conspiracy theorists – Putin ate my breakfast!

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        December 9, 2022 12:24 pm

        The Russians certainly have the technology for ROVs capable of the job. Two Russian ships loitering in the area of the explosions. They were sailing ships, which probably failed to arouse suspicion. Here’s some evidence to consider

      • Phil O'Sophical permalink
        December 9, 2022 12:55 pm

        Cui bono? We are now importing gas (fracked gas with supreme irony) from the US at four times the price, and much wasted energy from end to end of the process, much of it for onward transmission to the EU.

      • December 9, 2022 2:24 pm

        It is a lie that the Russians shot down the airliner over Ukraine.

  2. rossobx permalink
    December 8, 2022 6:21 pm

    ‘The proximate cause of our present crisis is Vladimir Putin’s despicable invasion of Ukraine,…’ Yes, cleverly engineered by the US, just what they wanted.

    • Julian Flood permalink
      December 9, 2022 8:49 am

      No. The cause of the energy crunch is 20 years of delusional thinking by successive UK governments. As for the conspiracy theories… Oh dear.


    • Adam Gallon permalink
      December 9, 2022 9:27 am

      So, the Yanks persuaded Putin to invade Ukraine did they?

      • bobn permalink
        December 9, 2022 12:19 pm

        The Ukraine civil war which has led to the invasion started in 2014 with the USA organised coup that curtailed democracy.
        Listen/read Prof John Mearshimer who predicted in 2015 that US actions would lead to war in the Ukraine.

      • December 9, 2022 2:27 pm

        Not ‘persuaded’ but ‘goaded’. Russia realised it was time to stop talking and take the next political option.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 9, 2022 10:22 am

      If you think Biden’s White House could engineer that, you are seeing competency where nobody else does. Or was the chaotic retreat from Afghanistan deliberate?

    • Realist permalink
      December 9, 2022 11:40 am

      The eco-terrorists in the EU and even still there in the UK despite the infamous “Brexit” are the cause of the problem. But whatever is happening in Ukraine gave them an excuse to deflect attention

  3. halhart631 permalink
    December 8, 2022 6:37 pm

    I have the answer, but still in the mode of building my prototype. I greatly appreciate and agree with all your posts, keep up the great work of supplying common sense to the head-long stupidity of the green movement. Sincerely, Hal Hart.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      December 8, 2022 10:02 pm

      Blimey folks, as well as all the Putin apologist bots that seem to have signed up, Tony Stark has dropped in too.

      • halhart631 permalink
        December 8, 2022 11:13 pm

        Don’t know if I am replying to Mr. Homewood or not, but I certainly did not think that i would be labeled a “bot”. If you really think that I am, how about calling me. I live in Priceville,Alabama, USA. My number is 1 256 221 1777. Let’s talk awhile.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        December 9, 2022 10:10 am

        Having read through all the comments so far……I see what you mean!

      • Phil O'Sophical permalink
        December 9, 2022 1:01 pm

        Disagreeing over cause and responsibility does not make one an apologist, simply one who interprets the facts and probabilities with a different view. By that token, should you be labelled a Biden apologist?

  4. Douglas Brodie permalink
    December 8, 2022 6:38 pm

    Unusual common sense. Too bad he dilutes it with his silly statement that “Thanks to technology and markets, it ought to be possible to decarbonise without ruining our society and economy”.

    No mention either that it is all pointless anyway, even if the global climate were controlled by atmospheric CO2, which it isn’t, because most of the rest of world is going to carry on with fossil fuel business as usual.

    When will the penny drop that the madness is premeditated and that Net Zero is all about “collapsing Western civilisation” (Maurice Strong) and population reduction “The real enemy is humanity itself” (Club of Rome)?

    • Malcolm permalink
      December 8, 2022 9:34 pm

      Where, please, exactly is your welcome quote from the Club of Rome? I have tried to find it in my 1975 (1974 second print) copy of “Limits to Growth”. I would appreciate knowing exactly where.

      You and the C.o.R are exactly right as were Malthus, Darwin and Ruskin plus of course many, many more.

      In my life time the world population has quadrupled. Doubling every forty years.

      [Homer says the cause of the Trojan war was over population which Gaia complained to Zeus about and so it began].

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        December 9, 2022 8:49 am

        If you can plough through them all has several hundred assorted quotes on the whole subject.
        The closest I can find from the Club of Rome is “The Earth has a cancer and the cancer is Man” but there are others in the same vein.

      • Malcolm permalink
        December 9, 2022 10:04 am

        Thank you Mike. Intemperately my knee jerk reaction to your note note was “I know most of these, I just wanted the specific answer”.

        Then I looked at them!

        They are a valuable collection ranging from ignorant foolishness (I choose to be polite) to informed and considered reason. I put the “reduce the population” group in the latter category. I just they could say how!

        My daily “prayer” is wishing that we had taken action in 1850 and now were at about a billion of us. I think we are probably doomed, and most large species with us. But otherwise life will go on.

  5. Lou Cassivi permalink
    December 8, 2022 6:39 pm

    “The proximate cause of our present crisis is Vladimir Putin’s despicable invasion of Ukraine.”
    Let’s hear what you think Putin’s other options were. If you can think of any, which one, in your mind, should he have chosen?

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      December 8, 2022 7:41 pm

      He could have chosen to leave Ukraine alone.

      • Tim Spence permalink
        December 8, 2022 8:13 pm

        Why should he have ‘chosen to leave Ukraine alone’?

      • Micky R permalink
        December 8, 2022 8:56 pm

        ” Why should he have ‘chosen to leave Ukraine alone’? ”

        Is there a nuance to this question that I’m missing?

        Ukraine = sovereign state

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        December 8, 2022 9:24 pm

        Why should he have chosen to invade a neighbouring sovereign state? Just because he thinks being leader of Russia entitles him to dictate what happens in his neighbours’ territory doesn’t make it so.
        Anyway your question was “what other option” did he have. The answer is simple. He had the option not to invade. In which case a lot of people would not be dead before their time. Russia would not be suffering from sanctions. The rest of Europe would not be facing a bleak energy winter ……
        Shall I go on, or is that enough?

      • mikewaite permalink
        December 8, 2022 9:32 pm

        Merkel has just admitted that the Minsk agreement of 2014 was a shasm . It claimed to maintain neutrality for Ukraine , and give the russian speakers of Donbass a measure of autonomy. In fact it was just a cover to give Ukraine and its NATO backers time to build an effective army for the time when the Russians, seeing the daily bombardments of Donbass and the killing of civilians decided that the time had come to put an end to it.
        Putin was foolish to believe in the good faith of the West, just as Stalin was fooled by the Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty of 1939 whch gave the Germans breathing space and time to attack Poland and France , and of course Britain, without having to worry about a possible Eastern front – until the time was right for Barbarossa.

      • Lou Cassivi permalink
        December 8, 2022 10:35 pm

        My apologies to Mike Jackson, Micky R, Tim Spence. My comment was for Paul Homewood, but, as you chimed in:

        Ukraine as a “sovereign state” is not only an oxymoron, it’s absolute horseshit.

        Ukraine officially became another US/ NATO vassal state in Feb, 2014 after being taken over by the US, it’s Nazi American Terrorist Org, and Ukraine’s native nazis.

        Since 2014, the US/ NATO/ UkeNazis have been bombing and slaughtering eastern Ukrainians, because they are of Russian descent and/ or pro Russia, and because the US/ NATO want to take over Russia, because it is a true sovereign state. And as the world knows only too well, that’s anathema to the “land of the free, home of the brave.”

        So to have it your way, Putin would turn the other cheek, allow US/ NATO and their Uke nazi dupes to roll over the Ukrainian people and march into sovereign Russia, nukes and all.


      • Mike Jackson permalink
        December 9, 2022 8:40 am

        Paul, do we really need the anti-American conspiracy theories? I’m all in favour of freedom of speech but swivel-eyed obsessions are something else!
        Sorry if I’m out of line but I thought this site was a haven of realism. The idea that NATO has plans to invade Russia really is one for the record books.

      • AC Osborn permalink
        December 9, 2022 9:59 am

        Mr Jackson, may I suggest that before you call out others for having “swivel-eyed obsessions ” you actually go to the trouble of reading about the history of the Ukraine?
        I agree that the idea of NATO invading Russia is unlikely, however the destruction of Russia as a super power is not.
        It was put in writing by an American think tank the Rand Corporation in 2019 that it would be a major advantage for the USA & EU if Russia were emboiled in a war in Ukraine.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 9, 2022 10:24 am

      Because he had to invade somewhere?

      Your question makes no sense. He had 100s of options. Your are Begging the Question, a logical fallacy.

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        December 9, 2022 11:46 am

        Oddly enough I did take the trouble to get some background on Ukraine. Also on NATO. Also on Russia. None of which led me to believe that NATO is anything other than what it claims to be — a defensive alliance against a paranoid aggressor that cannot be trusted to keep its hands to itself: think Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, much of Poland, Hungary, Romania, and a dozen other eastern European entities.
        For what it’s worth my position is and has been from the start that Crimea has been part of Russia for long enough for her to lay reasonable claim and that there are “debatable lands” in the Donbass which deserve a PROPERLY SUPERVISED plebiscite.
        There is no justification for military action when you already occupy Crimea and need only ask the UN for their support in the Donbass.

      • December 9, 2022 2:30 pm

        A shame you didn’t learn anything from your background research.

      • Douglas Dragonfly permalink
        December 11, 2022 8:39 pm

        Even if one looks at only recent American history, the conflict in Ukraine is just the lastest in their endless War on Terror.

        Given that this CIA-driven effort to build an insurgency in Ukraine began as far back as 2015, if not just after World War Two.

        Why then is the USA not suing for peace in the light of the claimed Global Warming and the alleged Climate Emergency ? The tonnes and tonnes of carbon being burnt by the military planes and vehicles alone must be enormous.
        Right here is further evidence to Not Believe The Hype.

        Unfortunately as always it is the civilians of all sides who pay the highest price.

        “Ukraine and the New Al Qaeda”

  6. Tim Spence permalink
    December 8, 2022 7:10 pm

    ‘Allister’ is saying that if it all goes tits up there will be a ‘democratic’ backlash, while he’s making wholesale concessions to the green agenda and blaming the present predicament on Putin. It’s soft sell propaganda, total hogwash.

  7. Joe Public permalink
    December 8, 2022 7:14 pm

    Allister Heath: “We didn’t bother to construct gas-storage facilities ….”

    Of course not.

    All these underground storage facilities holding ~16,600GWh, plus our 3x LNG facilities capable of holding another 13,000GWh built themselves!

    Then on top of those, Rough re-opened in late October, adding another 9,350GWh.

    Britain has <30GWh of electricity storage.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 9, 2022 10:26 am

      Which is very limited compared with France and Germany.

    • W Flood permalink
      December 9, 2022 1:11 pm

      That would keep us going for an hour or so .

  8. Harry Passfield permalink
    December 8, 2022 7:24 pm

    The propaganda war being waged by BBC on behalf of Net Zero knows no bounds. Every program they now push out seems to have to have some comment – explicit or implicit – about CC and the way to combat it.
    This afternoon, on one of their most popular, long-running afternoon shows – Escape to the Country – where they were filming in Oxfordshire, they had the compere do a bit to camera about the fact that Oxford CC had proclaimed that the County was now a Net Zero County in line with their commitment to combatting the Climate Emergency. The compere was (according to the script) full of praise for it and her piece to camera was nothing but a paean of praise for the County’s decision – although it seemed a bit forced (I guess she wouldn’t keep the gig if she didn’t comply).
    The thing was, that OCC claim that they will make Oxfordshire so much better because of NZ and the people of the county will benefit from their leading the country with it: their lives will be so much better in the climate achieved as a result – seemingly oblivious to the fact that OCC’s climate is bound to the UK’s climate, and so on….
    But our kids are being impregnated with this rubbish. Just depressing….

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      December 8, 2022 7:43 pm

      I saw it, I was particularly interested in the bloke talking about the future of farming. As I recall, more cattle to restore the soil but no mention of methane, then talk of more diverse crops all of which had to be harvested by hand. As we can’t persuade the locals to do that sort of work I wondered who was going to get the crops to market.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        December 8, 2022 7:50 pm

        Glad you saw it too, Ben. Yes, that pillock was spouting the usual rubbish and it was plain that whatever the outcome he would not be around to pick up the pieces. At one point I thought he was going the full Mediterranean Climate nonsense and claim OCC would be a haven for Olive Trees etc.

      • bobn permalink
        December 9, 2022 1:42 pm

        Back in 2003 after our hottest summer a chap in Dorset area planted olive trees as a commercial orchard. They all died in the winters of 2008/09. My ornamental olive trees here in Oxfordshire also died. Fortunately grapevines are hardy to -20c when dormant and should survive the coming cold decades. better cut some more firewood.

    • M Fraser permalink
      December 9, 2022 10:12 am

      Just like Blyth, Northumberland Council’s signs…… ‘Blyth, a Nuclear free zone’, as if Newcastle was ground zero they would be unaffected! Unbelievable.

  9. December 8, 2022 7:40 pm

    “It may one day be possible to store electricity in giant batteries”. Complete nonsense, unless the batteries are made of uranium or plutonium or thorium.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      December 8, 2022 8:00 pm

      …or coalfields – even. Eh, Phillip? 🙂

    • Mr Robert Christopher permalink
      December 8, 2022 8:17 pm

      The answer is having batteries made of Hopium.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        December 8, 2022 8:23 pm

        …As an alloy with Unaffordium and Unobtainium is my guess.
        And when they are ever built they’ll be sited in Nospaceforum.

  10. Micky R permalink
    December 8, 2022 7:47 pm

    The UK used to have about four days of gas storage, it’s apparently now has about nine days.

    Germany 89 days, France 103 days, it says here:

    Coal-fired power stations offer the possibility of months of fuel storage on site i.e. no vulnerable pipelines

    • Joe Public permalink
      December 8, 2022 10:31 pm

      Neither Germany nor France has the direct pipeline connections to the North Sea fields that we fortunately have:

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        December 8, 2022 11:46 pm

        There is the Franpipe extension to Dunkerque of the Zeepipe to Zeebrugge, and the pipelines into Emden, but the difference is that the lines into St Fergus, Teeside, Easington, and Bacton can between them cover almost all our demand – at least when the Norwegians choose to route it to us. They do have some flexibility to switch volumes offshore, although they have also made use of the UK as an entrepot, reexporting to Belgium and the Netherlands via Bacton.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        December 9, 2022 10:28 am

        Which cannot supply 100% of demand.

  11. It doesn't add up... permalink
    December 8, 2022 8:03 pm

    More EVs on fire:

    • Micky R permalink
      December 8, 2022 8:50 pm

      I don’t suppose that you can completely drain an EV battery of energy before loading onto the truck.

  12. Jordan permalink
    December 8, 2022 10:13 pm

    “we are now so far behind any rational transition schedule that only an extreme effort, a Manhattan Project for nuclear power, can possibly rescue us from disaster”
    He got that right. It was the plan all along.
    Decades of demonising and taxing CO2. Forcing closure of fossil fired power stations, or making it expensive for new assets by driving hideous decarbonisation schemes. Banning or stalling extraction of new resources.
    We arrive at this week’s Statement on Energy Security, announcing Sizewell C and a new public sector body for nuclear delivery.

  13. December 8, 2022 10:15 pm

    ‘The politicians have a choice: make greenery consumer-friendly’ – if they had that option they might well take it. But they don’t.

  14. Ben Vorlich permalink
    December 8, 2022 11:23 pm

    Our problems will be solved in a couple of years, just before Nuclear Fusion gives us limitless clean energy

    St Austell to have large battery storage factory built nearby
    The power it will generate the equivalent of removing 2,500 cars off the road
    A battery storage factory is to be built in Cornwall. Balance Power has secured planning approval for the 49.5MW battery storage plant

    Typically vague and imprecise

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 8, 2022 11:50 pm

      Looks like just another typical grid battery, probably with just a 1 hour duration – i.e. 49.5MWh. To be used mainly in providing ancillary services – charging or discharging as the grid frequency rises or falls around the 50Hz target pro rata to the size of the frequency divergence.

    • Malcolm Chapman permalink
      December 9, 2022 10:20 am

      Isn’t it fun having a battery that can ‘generate’ electricity? If we can build enough of those, we won’t need any other power sources at all, as long as the batteries don’t catch fire while they are busy generating.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      December 9, 2022 11:54 am

      What is so intensely annoying about these projects is their venal nature. The high voltage transmission grid only runs as far as Indian Queens where there is also a diesel fuelled Open Cycle Gas Turbine to help stabilise this “long leg”.
      This battery will be embedded in the local network soaking up almost free surpluses at times (for which constraint payments will have likely been paid to the solar/wind farms) and then discharge solely to stabilise the local network from the very disturbances and weakness caused by the intermittent generators.
      This notion that it will somehow reduce other emissions is complete fantasy aka marketing BS.

  15. Jason permalink
    December 9, 2022 12:48 am

    He doesn’ t ssem to realise…everything is going exactly to plan.

  16. December 9, 2022 3:35 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  17. William Birch permalink
    December 9, 2022 9:33 am

    I think the Political elite [a coalition of Conservative, Labour, & Liberal plus the crazy lot in the house of Lords] running our country know full well that electricity black outs would consign there crazy net zero plans to the dustbin [where they belong]. Thus they will use ever trick in the book to avoid it. That is what the idea of paying people to not use electricity at peak times comes from. However this is their “stop gap solution”. Their whole idea is to dramatically increase the cost of electricity so that the “City of London” owners of wind and solar farms become “economic”. Once this crisis is over , ultimately their overall plan is to Ration Electricity on price to regulate supply. So poor peole can have their breakfast at either @ 3.00 am or 11.00 a.m., whilst the Ruling Elite can operate as normal. From their point of view, WHATS NOT TO LIKE !!!!!

  18. Phoenix44 permalink
    December 9, 2022 10:34 am

    The problem is not quite as he describes. What we have, once again, is a group of people, some clever, many not, who think they can plan complex systems to achieve what they want in simplistic ways. That it is failing spectacular should be a surprise to no-one, but apparently it is, not least because many of thd solutions adopted are just the hate-lists of irrational activists. We are listening only to the maddest, most irrational, most extreme people on virtually every issue.

  19. Realist permalink
    December 9, 2022 11:33 am

    The real issue is the obsession with “decarbonisation”. ALL of the “evil CO2” is zero point zero four percent. Of that miniscule amount, even the eco-terrorists admit that only three percent is “manmade”. 3% of 0.04% is a lot of zeros after the decimal point. And of course the climate has always changed, even before factories, let alone power plants and motorised transport even existed.

  20. Malcolm Chapman permalink
    December 9, 2022 11:33 am

    In reply to a namesake above, population is not the problem. One of the first things I was told to read as an undergraduate (in 1970) was Malthus’s essay on population. Malthus was a pessimist, predicting that population would always outrun resources – result, misery. That didn’t happen. Instead we had what is often called ‘the demographic transition’. This is a sufficiently important idea that it should, in my opinion, be more widely appreciated. Please forgive me if I run over it one more time:

    In traditional agricultural societies (say the UK in the 18th century, which is what Malthus had in mind), families had lots of children, but most of them died of disease or famine. Disease was rampant. Famine was common. The birth rate was high, but because the death rate was high as well, population remained more or less steady, at a low level (or at least, at a level which now seems low).

    During the ‘industrial revolution’ (and we can take the UK as the prime example, since it was also the first), there were many technological advances that made life better for most of the population. Cheap coal for domestic heating, soap and cotton underclothes for hygiene, steam power for transport and manufacturing, and all the rest. The advance of science and an empirically-minded scientific and technological community made advances in the understanding and treatment of disease. Outright famine became much less common. The mechanisation of agriculture and the internationalisation of trade meant cheaper and more varied food. And so on.

    So, life got better for most people. They were, however, used to having lots of children, in the expectation that most of these children would die in infancy or early childhood. Slowly, the children stopped dying, and grew into adults. While this was happening (and let’s say that was late 19th century in the UK), the birth rates were still high (as under the old regime), but the mortality rates fell sharply. Result, rapid population growth.

    So, people started to notice that their children were all living and growing up. Under the old regime, you perhaps needed to have ten births, in order to have a chance of two of these growing to adulthood. So you had ten, eight of them died, and the population remained static. Under the new regime, you still had ten births (with the expectation that most of them would die), and they all lived to adulthood. I have a family photo from about 1908, showing my father’s mother’s family – it has eight children in young adulthood and childhood, and two parents. This was in Bradford, an archetypal town of the industrial revolution. There are perhaps millions of family photos like it. Taking that as an example, the population might figuratively quadruple in a generation. It certainly grew fast.

    Malthus would have expected it to carry on growing fast, until the population once again exhausted the available resources. This did not happen. Instead, people began to notice that you no longer needed to have ten births to secure two young adult children. Perhaps you only needed two births. And so people took advantage of what means of family planning were available to them, and began quite rapidly to have smaller families. If I can go back to my own family photo from 1908, those eight young people went on to start 7 families (so now we have 15 young people, including the new affines, as our starting population), who went on to have 12 children between them. So, instead of 8 young people forming 8 families each having 8 children (with the population rising exponentially), we had eight young people forming seven families giving rise to children. Result, population growth stops, and population even threatens to decline.

    So, in the new population normal of the industrialised world, population growth is either modest or absent. If the population grows, it grows quite slowly. There are few problems of availability of resources (except those caused by warfare of one kind or another). We might also add that this prosperity has been based upon the use of fossil fuels, and (as most of us that come to this website agree) will need to continue to be based upon fossil fuels, at least for the next twenty years or so.

    So, the demographic transition: first, high birth rate and high mortality rate = low stable population; second, high birth rate and low mortality rate = rapidly growing population; third, low birth rate and low mortality rate = stable population (but stable at a much higher level than before the industrial revolution).

    This has happened, very clearly, in the countries that led the world in industrialisation – UK, Germany, USA, Japan. It happened somewhat later in Southern Europe and South America. It is happening in India. It is happening in China (although China is, for obvious reasons, a slightly special case).

    There is no reason to suppose that this same demographic transition will not eventually happen everywhere. I do not have the possible figures to hand, but I think it has been suggested that the world population might top out at about 10 billion sometime soon after the middle-21st century).

    As long as current resource availability (including fossil fuels) continues, there is no reason to suppose that this population should not be comfortably provided.

    What people now tend to have in mind when they think of disastrously high and Malthusian levels of mismatch between population and resources is, of course, Africa. If we think, however, of most of current Africa being in something like the state of my family photo from 1908, then we can clearly envisage that family size in Africa will fall dramatically, and population growth will fall accordingly. Again, this has happened everywhere else; there is no reason to suppose that Africa will be different.

    Please forgive the length of this comment, and also please forgive the extreme brevity of the illustrations (which necessarily leave out many caveats and complications). It does seem to me, however, that some fairly frequent rehearsal of these arguments is necessary. It is very easy to fall into disquiet about current population growth, as another Malcolm eloquently shows above. I do not think that, in the long run, this disquiet is justified.

    And, to repeat, the entire logic of the arguments that I have made, is based upon the prosperity brought about by modernity, science, medicine, technology, and abundant supplies of cheap energy.

    It think it would be useful if our politicians, and our energy pundits (in all their forms), understood ‘the demographic transition’, as outlined above.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      December 9, 2022 12:02 pm

      Thankyou, I read all your very well written post (learnt a new word “affines” that I will use in future) and totally agree. If acceptable, I may well reference this explanation to others in future.

      • Malcolm Chapman permalink
        December 9, 2022 7:46 pm

        Thank you. Please do use it if you think it useful. It does seem to me a good big idea which is not quite as well known as it should be.

  21. December 9, 2022 2:38 pm

    The German police carried out raids to thwart a take over of the Reichstag by a right wing coup led by an aristocrat. However, there is some good news according to an accompanying commentary. The writer showed her true colours by labelling Alternative fur Deutschland as ‘far right’ but said that the majority of the people are fed up with their out of touch elite sacrificing their economy on green altar, and that there is high chance of another attempt at a right wing coup. Getting Germany out of the clutches of the fascist left would be a big step forward.

  22. ancientpopeye permalink
    December 9, 2022 3:20 pm

    I have written to EDF asking them to return me to electricity generated by coal fired PS as I cannot afford this expensive green variety they insist on me having. Do you think this will have any effect?

  23. hector birdwisa permalink
    December 9, 2022 5:05 pm

    The national grid, gummer and the climate change committee, have got off lightly.the have badly advised our mps to focus totally on renewables whilst ignoring their unreliability.

  24. Steve permalink
    December 10, 2022 12:00 pm

    I suggest that those who think that the invasion of Ukrainian and the worsening of the gas supply was all because Pute decided to expand the Russky empire should read this article by a Swiss intelligence officer, who knows the ins and outs of the disaster.
    Currently, most cities there have no heating, no lifts in high rise flats, no net, no electric cooking, no freezers, no light except for torches, no trains, no petrol pumps, etc.
    UK will be next but only for 8 hours at a time, hopefully.

    • Micky R permalink
      December 10, 2022 5:39 pm

      Ukraine became a sovereign state when the USSR collapsed in 1991; the Ukraine / Russia border was set at that time, but Russia couldn’t leave Ukraine unmolested, hence the invasion of 2014 and then the next invasion of 2022.

      My view is that the West should have commenced the economic dismantling of Russia in 1999 following the Russian bombing of Grozny.

  25. Epping Blogger permalink
    December 10, 2022 4:25 pm

    Scepticism is usually a good place to start, as any proper scientist will tell you. It is true in modern day politics; perhaps it always was.

    That does not mean that every statement from the west should be regarded as false or the opposite of the truth. Goodness me, there are enough genuine daft statements from the politicians without making up false ones.

    My posting is prompted by the insistence of several posts that “of course” the pipeline was blown up by the west (contributors believe the US and UK who they seem to particularly despise) and that while Russia may be incompeten t it is nice and cuddly really and we should return to complete reliance upon them for necessary energy supplies.

  26. Eric permalink
    December 10, 2022 5:47 pm

    Reblogged this on Calculus of Decay .

  27. December 11, 2022 9:09 am
    I have been reading for years how our energy reserves are being reduced.
    How long before it sinks in that the more wind mills you build in replacement for a more predicable energy supply. You make the problem worse not better.

  28. December 11, 2022 9:20 am

    hi guys ! .. great work from Paul, as per usual

    “Instead, we got Nick Clegg: in a humiliating video from 2010, he rejects increasing nuclear capacity because it would have taken until 2021 or 2022 to come online.”

    this intrigues me ! .. I tried to locate this video, or find something written about the same, but I couldn’t ..

    can someone help me out ?

    thanks beforehand ..

    • Micky R permalink
      December 11, 2022 2:43 pm

      ” I tried to locate this video ”

      Clegg is yet another incompetent chancer.

      • December 11, 2022 6:51 pm

        Micky R .. thank you very much ! ..

        2022 ? .. this would be #now ! .. they could have been online, but they are not, because “we really believe in #renewables, so nuclear – or other dispatchable power – is not necessary !” ..

        (now that I know what to look for, if you search for “Nick Clegg” on youtube, it is on ! .. really down ! .. more down that I looked for and clearly with the wrong search term .. because if you search for “Nick Clegg 2010”, which was my search item, it might be even more down than the just Nick Clegg .. and I have yet to find it ..)

  29. Bridget Howard-Smith permalink
    December 11, 2022 4:33 pm

    That’s a bit rude, calling little Greta the Troll from Trondheim,

  30. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    December 11, 2022 8:42 pm

    Even if one looks at only recent American history, the conflict in Ukraine is just the lastest in their endless War on Terror.

    Given that this CIA-driven effort to build an insurgency in Ukraine began as far back as 2015, if not just after World War Two.

    Why then is the USA not suing for peace in the light of the claimed Global Warming and the alleged Climate Emergency ? The tonnes and tonnes of carbon being burnt by the military planes and vehicles alone must be enormous.
    Right here is further evidence to Not Believe The Hype.

    Unfortunately as always it is the civilians of all sides who pay the highest price.

    “Ukraine and the New Al Qaeda”

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