It is amazing in a world of 24 hour news and information, how little of anything that goes against a perceived agenda or narrative ever gets published, which is why the digital world thrives. Unfortunately the digital world as exemplified with this blog is a gnat's pee in the ocean of things; much is said, little becomes headline news or even makes the inside pages. It often seems we live in an echo chamber and for the powers that be that is how they prefer it
One interesting aspect I have discovered in recent times is the business news in what remains of value in our dead tree press. While news can be suppressed, diverted or conveniently buried in the mainstream section the business sections or not so easily changed: shareholders have more power, to a degree, than the standard voter and therefore more salient facts emerge on all sorts of subjects in the business sections. Not always easy reading but many a truth relating to outside factors comes to the surface.
Naturally most concerns the green scam. Various items are made to look unfeasible and at the same time are not going to achieve much at great cost. The middle classes will be the hardest hit, those that pay taxes that support the subsidies of all green projects, projects that we are told will give us a bright clean future and in which we are leading the world both in our green credentials and our technology, all says Bojo will lead to thousands of new jobs blah blah blah.
Just a couple of corrections to the latter: the drive to install heat pumps has already stalled, says a Times article. 1200 installers are currently registered, but 10,000 are required to fulfil the government's target by 2025. The new heat pumps as described in previous articles cost between £6,500-£8,600 without all the other measures such as underfloor heating, bigger radiators etc.; no average houseowner is going to be able to afford that.
The government has not even drawn up the new technical specification that all new homes will need after 2025; in fact they don’t even meet to discuss until spring 2023, plus should hydrogen become a viable energy source the new homes would not be adaptable to that without further planning.
Jobs resulting from our ‘leading’ position on climate change are just so much bollox. It makes you mad every time they come out with this nonsense. It is claimed we need seven battery production plants to fill the needs of all the estimated EVs that will be coming off production lines; only one is currently planned, with Nissan saying they are waiting to have talks with the government - more subsidies!
Problems with battery disposal have already arisen even at this early stage: municipal vehicles in Paris were found to have defective cells in their batteries, with no way yet of disposing of them; those same vehicles now lie rotting in a field. What exactly are the facilities for when batteries in their millions start to fail?
The giant wind turbines are nearly all made abroad, not one of the top ten companies involved in making wind turbines is British:
Another stumbling block for our quest to be carbon neutral by 2050 and the use of heat pumps to help that target become reality, is the fact they are nearly all made in Asia. With worldwide demand about to rocket for these items they will not be able to cope; we have no facilities here that make them and none on the horizon:
So when asked government spokesmen come out with the ‘we are committed’,‘we shall not be deterred’, ‘our plan is still on track’ and other meaningless drivel. They can’t back up any of their aims with anything other than word soup.
The big spike in any plans for so-called sustainable energy came with the announcement, again in the business section, that EDF are closing down Dungeness B nuclear plant seven years early. EDF said that two other plants were also at risk of early closing. Of our eight nuclear plants only Sizewell in Suffolk is expected to go on beyond 2030, all the others are suffering from safety failures and have already gone beyond their expected life cycle. This could all be linked back to my article on our chronic lack of infrastructure going forward; with only one new nuclear plant being built we are as they say in the sh*t: no windmills or solar panels can fill the gap left as none are reliable energy, if the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine as so often in cold winter months, blackouts or rationing beckon, no heat pump will stop you getting cold in that scenario either.
I mentioned this before: July 6th 2020, the much trumpeted day when renewables for the first time supplied over half our energy needs. At that time I could not find the graphic that showed the event, but this one does and shows that even on that day in a hot summer with long days and little demand both publicly and commercially, with so much business shut down, the claim was still false.
Interconnects are hardly renewable as we don’t produce that energy in the first place and biomass is the biggest con of them all, producing more of the dreaded CO2 than the coal it replaced, never mind the transporting of wood pellets half way round the world.
More worrying is what it shows for the future: with coal almost gone the bulk of energy comes from gas and nuclear, that is also the only reliable energy source of any substance; but nuclear as above is doomed for the short/medium term and gas is for the chop by 2050. What will we be left with, without immediate investment and a building program starting now?
It doesn’t even begin to answer the increase by 60% the National Grid say we will need to power all the new electric cars heat pumps etc. Any government that is sane would see all this and say 'hang on, wait a minute, we need a rethink about going forward,' but not this lot.
They remind me of another business statement some years ago when Eddie Stobart said he wanted to be the ‘biggest transport company in the UK.’ A business man and neighbour replied to that saying, 'why the biggest, why not the best?' and we all know what happened to Eddie Stobart. This government are the same, blind to the realities and determined to push forward with something that is not currently achievable nor even desirable in the eyes of those who can read the runes. It is gesture politics that even if the goal is reached will achieve nothing as far as climate change is concerned, because man cannot change climate; but it will set the western world back into the 19th century, then I suppose we shall all be asked to start clapping - that will be to keep warm, of course, not to applaud!
It is ironic that Iraq with the world's fifth largest reserves of oil, a crumbling infrastructure and high demand for air conditioning means they are building eight nuclear plants to meet demand and stop blackouts. This sounds very familiar except we are not building eight new nuclear plants, our base load is dropping at the moment and importing energy is the only way we keep the lights on; good, say many, but the cost is at the mercy of providers and many countries like France which exports energy are cutting back on their own nuclear plants so will not have as much spare in the future to export.
Here more than anywhere else we have been caught up in this self-deluding spiral where everything green is good; never is anything allowed to stand in the way of ‘progress’ towards de-carbonisation, we are all believers, or are we? The reality of what is really going on won't hit us until the lights start going out. Too late, then; the demand for emergency generators will outstrip supply.
And there was another worrying development in Holland a week or so ago. Royal Dutch Shell lost a court case because they were not cutting emissions fast enough. A Dutch court sided with Friends of the Earth and ordered the company to cut its carbon footprint by 45% from 2019 levels, within this decade.
What is interesting is the way the case was brought to court: FoE argued that Shell’s business model threatened the goals of the Paris agreement and so put ‘human rights’ at risk by failing to do enough to stop climate change. That, if the appeal fails, is very worrying for virtually every sort of production model on the planet as the alternative is simply not achievable and shouldn’t be pursued anyway. Needless to say Shell caved into the ruling and wibbled on about doing their bit etc.
The case was brought by FoE, six other environmental organisations and 17,000 individuals as The People versus Shell; of course it was not the people versus Shell, it was seven climate-activist organisations and 17,000 members of those organisations. In no way do they represent the people; all of these groups and individuals assume far too much power with never any real push back as to proving how much man contributes to emissions and whether they make much difference anyway. I wonder what difference the Icelandic volcano has made on the same basis over the months it has been spewing forth - perhaps a court order on behalf of the people would have saved Pompeii!
To finish, another article in the business sections this week: the price of cars. The cost of many models have risen 100% in the last decade. Many reasons are given, none really hold water. What does emerge is that nine out of ten cars are now purchased using personal lease plans, i.e. you never own the vehicle. Silly people are obsessed with having the latest model on their drive, you see it on the new housing estates springing up everywhere; a Ford Fiesta is no longer good enough, despite no one actually going anywhere, and the supermarket car parks are full of Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Jaguar etc., rather like the houses themselves. 5% deposits and low interest rates disguise the fact the purchase price keeps on rising aided by these financing methods; the debt in this country must be horrendous.
You could look at the car market a different way, and claim this is planned. Electric vehicles are silly money why not level up and make internal combustion cars much dearer and the EVs will seem cheaper? EVs will be very cheap when you plug them in and there is no energy to charge them with; still, by then we may all be huddled in one room wearing various layers of clothes and setting light to what little is left of the furniture to stay warm and be able to look out of the window through the frost on the inside at the shiny new EV, forever motionless on the drive; these days nothing is impossible.