Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Fantasy rebels

It has often been said that politics is the art of the possible; apparently, this maxim flies out of the fucking window whenever the phrases "climate change" or "CO2 emissions" are mentioned. Because Gordon Brown is facing defeat on a completely stupid fucking Bill by a bunch of people who are even more stupid.
Gordon Brown is facing the prospect of another significant backbench rebellion - this time over climate change.

More than 80 Labour MPs have signed an amendment to the Climate Change Bill, which would force ministers to promise greater cuts in carbon emissions.

The bill commits Britain to make at least a 60% cut in CO2 emissions by 2050. The MPs want that to rise to 80%.

How are they going to achieve this, exactly?
Meanwhile Mr Brown hailed "major progress" at the G8 summit, as leaders agreed to halve CO2 emissions by 2050.

Last year's G8 would only "seriously consider" a 50% cut in C02 but on Tuesday it said it would "consider and adopt" the goal in an international agreement.

Mr Brown said the deal was "beyond what people thought possible".

It is beyond what's possible. Has everyone got absolutely fucking insane?

Look, you all know my views on anthropogenic climate change; but leaving aside what I, or you, personally think about the phenomenon, these targets are utterly loony.

This government has committed the UK to an EU target of 20% energy provision from renewable sources by 2020. A couple of months back, it was revealed that not only were we nowhere near that target, but the government had absolutely no idea of how it was going to reach it.

Now we are supposed to cut carbon emissions by 50%, or 60%. Or 80%, or... well, fuck it, let's cut carbon emissions by 110%. Why not? The government can commit to any figure that it likes and that does not alter the fact that they have no real idea how they can cut emissions by 20%, let alone anything else.
The prime minister said he hoped part of that change could see households across the UK switching to electric or less-polluting cars.

Listen up, you dozy twankunt; electric cars have to be charged from an electricity source. These electric plugs are mainly fuelled by electricity from fossil-fuelled powerstations but with the added bonus that you are losing massive amounts of power, through the powerlines, as you transport it across country.

That is not very Green. The only way in which electric cars will actually contribute to reduced emissions is if the source of the electrical power, i.e. the powerstation, is not carbon-emitting. And, at present, we have only two realistic options for reliable electricity generation: nuclear (slightly Green but with its own problems) or fossil fuel (not Green).

As regular readers will know, your humble Devil is a great believer in technology, and 2050 is a long way away. I think that by the time 2050 comes around, we will be using electric or hydrogen-powered cars.

Further, I think that we will have built and adopted nuclear fusion technology, or zinc oxide powerstations, or massive tidal or wave power generators by then. I firmly believe that we will not be burning any significant amounts of fossil fuels by 2050.

Or maybe we will be using technologies as yet unknown and unknowable to us.

But I still would not commit to signing any fucking agreement to drop carbon emissions by a specified amount because I don't have a crystal fucking ball; I can bet on certain technologies but I don't actually know what is going to happen.

All of these witterings about targets is just political grandstanding; by which, of course, I mean that these fuckers are signing up to certain obligations that they do not know how to fulfill (even if they are sincere about meeting these targets, which I doubt).

It's absolute barking insanity. Not only that, it's incredibly fucking irresponsible.

10 comments:

Old Holborn said...

Who cares what he signs. As the Japs have shown, none of it is binding. Just bread and circuses to keep the taxes rolling in.

Oh, and order some more Wind Power, the wine cellar has a few gaps in the Champagne section

Mark Wadsworth said...

If 80% is better than 60%, then surely a 100% cut in CO2 emissions is even better?

Shug Niggurath said...

By 2050 we will all be living on the moon and drinking martian tequila sunrises and driving flying cars.

OR;

By 2050 all of these cunts will be long dead and their signatures will matter just as much as Chamberlain's peace in our time did.

Either way, the longer I have to suffer Gordon Brown as the Prime Minister in this country, the less likely I will ever be to listen to any argument that comes from the left-wing thinkers - because this man is such a disaster as PM, the only possible worst we could have is me.

John B said...

"...with the added bonus that you are losing massive amounts of power, through the powerlines, as you transport it across country."

The National Grid (ie the high-voltage, across-country bit) loses 2.4%. A fiver says that's less than the fuel used in transporting petrol cross-country, in tankers and the tank...

But yeah, I agree with your expectaiton of where our grid mix will be by 2050. On the way there, talking shops and unenforceable agreements like this one don't do anyone any harm, and probably have a marginal impact on encouraging people to come up with better engineering solutions because they're more likely to be taken seriously.

Devil's Kitchen said...

John B,

"The National Grid (ie the high-voltage, across-country bit) loses 2.4%. A fiver says that's less than the fuel used in transporting petrol cross-country, in tankers and the tank..."

You're probably correct, but do you have a reference for that figure? (I keep on trying to find something and it'd be good to have something to refer to.)

DK

David Keaveny said...

Shug Niggurath hits the mark: by 2050, most or all of the politicians responsible for these risible targets will be long dead (no cheering at the back, please), and at least out of office. So meeting those targets becomes someone else's problem, and in the meantime they look as though they're doing something noble to save those lovable polar bears.

Sir Humphrey Appleby would be proud of such an example of the Politician's Syllogism.

Umbongo said...

DK

According to this quite impressive A-Level project about 7.4% of generated electricity was lost in transmission on the UK grid in 2000.

Tomrat said...

"The prime minister said he hoped part of that change could see households across the UK switching to electric or less-polluting cars."

Looks like you'll have to adapt your "magic money" metaphor some time soon to "magic energy".

His contempt for the plebs that he laughably states he serves really is absolute isn't it?

Roger Thornhill said...

The REAL problem with these legally-binding (and I suspect UN fine inducing) targets is that it means the State ends up throwing vast amounts of OUR MONEY at projects and companies. You can see where that ends up - unrealistic and unprofitable companies earning fat wedges via subsidies for tat that people would not otherwise buy.

OH will also report increased turnover and trebles all round!

Roger Thornhill said...

(I mean they will become legally binding/fine inducing in future, I suspect - the EU ones are).