Feeds

back to article World+Dog don't care about climate change, never have done

Seventeen years of continuous surveys covering countries around the world show that people not only do not care about climate change today - understandably prioritising economic misery - they also did not care about climate change even back when times were good. The new information comes in a study released by the National …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Nice to see that Lewis has finally given up on understanding the sciency part of climate change.

I suspect that prior to 1950 few would have rated wearing seat belts among the things they could do to improve their safety while riding in automobiles. Happily we're not solidly rooted in ignorance.

25
40
Silver badge

"Nice to see that Lewis has finally given up on understanding the sciency part of climate change."

But that's part of the problem. Even the scientists have pretty much given up. They've been overtaken by the hyperbole and need to deliver what politicians want.....e.g. an excuse for raising taxes. I'm not saying that climate change isn't happening, it is. Has been ever since the earth was formed. What we don't know and scientists don't seem to be able to model, is whether we're (humans that is) are having an effect and how much that effect is. They keep biasing data, keeping some data back because it doesn't happen to fit their model, predicting doom and gloom, before backtracking etc.etc.

Yes, let's have the science, but let's make it transparent and open. And let's not ignore unfortunate truths such as the last couple (ish) of decades where global warming has stopped. We need to understand what's happening before committing economic suicide in what appears to be a pretty much single handed attempt to stop it. I work for an energy company and the governments energy 'strategy' is nothing but a joke. £10-12billion (currently) on smart meters to reduce consumption, when all the studies suggest it will do nothing. Wind farms that are pretty much useless and have to be subsidised. Electric cars........not practical at the moment. If everyone had an electric car and tried to charge it overnight, the grid would melt!! And where's the electricity coming from?

We're betting on all the wrong technologies and the government is simply using it as an excuse to tax. Another unfortunate truth is that the USA has reduced its emissions from electricity production dramatically for the first time ever and without any treaties etc. through the use of gas generation. Driven by economics only, they've achieved more than most other countries by actually using a fossil fuel!! Shale gas makes this not just economic, but actually environmentally sound (from a CO2 emissions perspective) as well!!

53
14
g e
Silver badge
Holmes

Doesn't matter

That's what the scientists are for, even you, dear poster, could possibly be capable of simply reporting what they said.

Even if some of that science disagrees with the doomsayers (though I guess you could suppress that, of course)

2
0

"And let's not ignore unfortunate truths such as the last couple (ish) of decades where global warming has stopped."

No it hasn't - regardless of whatever you may wish to attribute that to. Please go and read the science you talk about.

17
21
Silver badge

"No it hasn't - regardless of whatever you may wish to attribute that to. Please go and read the science you talk about."

Are the met office scientists? I rather thought they were.

The graph is very interesting also for the flattening around the 50s.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/monitoring/climate/surface-temperature

15
4
FAIL

Where do you get those ideas from Mike?

You haven't been watching Faux news again have you? Your claims are simply WRONG!

Scientists don't model our contribution to climate change, they measure it. They know how much coal oil and gas is burnt (30 billion tonnes per year) and they know how fast the atmospheric CO2 and other green house gases are rising. They then measure the different isotopes of carbon in the CO2.... carbon coming from fossil fuels is different from that derived fromliving or recently dead plants and animals.

It's also WRONG to claim global warming has stopped. Atmospheric temperature rises have slowed for the last decade or so because of successive La Ninas and a couple of big volcanic eruptions that tend to lower temperatures, but atmospheric temperature is only just over 2% of the planet. The oceans for a start hold 93% and their temperature has continued to creep upward as predicted.

It's also WRONG to claim natural gas is environmentally sound. It's just not as bad as coal or shale oil. It's still a fossil fuel and every tonne burnt still puts more CO2 into the atmosphere. Worst still is the unburnt components of natural gas that are stronger green house gases than CO2.

What would be good would be for subsidies to be taken off the fossil fuel industries and diverted to finding alternatives. Breakthroughs in solar electricity generation are coming all the time and there are many ways to avoid using fossil carbon. We will have to eventually, lets do it before we wreck the planet.

20
29
Facepalm

as someone who has studied Meteorology and Climatology at university, I find the downvotes really quite depressing. also the author appears to be pissing into the ocean

do you treat your car like you (appear to suggest that you) treat the environment?

11
18
FAIL

Re: Where do you get those ideas from Mike?

Wow capital letters with assertations - well I'm convinced. I can see you're a keen reader of SkS with your ocean heat content myth. Please check your OHC trends again and this time use the latest figures (don't stop at 2006) and also please correct for the Argo "corrections" .

As to more CO2 being bad - given radiative energy transfer is the slowest means of energy transfer (or thermos flasks wouldn't work) How can slightly changing the amount of CO2 in a convection current (the atmosphere) change surface temperature? The surface is losing energy at a particular rate (via convection, evaporation and radiation) you slightly reduce the radiative rate - would that not just increase the convection/evaporation rate without subsequent temperature increase?

17
5
Silver badge

Happily we're not solidly rooted in ignorance.

Apparently 15 reg readers are

9
14
Silver badge

Re: Where do you get those ideas from Mike?

"Scientists don't model our contribution to climate change, they measure it."

How come they continually bang on about their climate models then? Also, they keep predicting what will happen in x years time. How do they do that without models? Science is all about models. Anything else is unscientific.

"Atmospheric temperature rises have slowed for the last decade or so because of successive La Ninas and a couple of big volcanic eruptions that tend to lower temperatures, but atmospheric temperature is only just over 2% of the planet."

Has someone actually proven this hypothesis? No, thought not. They are saying La Ninas and eruptions etc. are causing this, but to prove it, they need to wait for one to occur and then succsessfully predict using models (earlier point again) what will happen and be proven right when it does. Anyone can keep amending a model according to observations, but until you successfully predict using the model, you haven't proved it.

"It's also WRONG to claim natural gas is environmentally sound."

I never said it was. I just said that by using it, the USA have reduced their CO2 output from electricity generation for the first time. Therefore, one can argue it is less bad than say coal. I never said it was environmentally sound, but then nothing is. Even windfarms are just less damaging, not non-damaging. They do, after all, require environmentally unsound processes (such as concrete) to build etc. Even windfarms put CO2 into the atmosphere during manufacture.

"What would be good would be for subsidies to be taken off the fossil fuel industries and diverted to finding alternatives"

Perhaps you could provide a reference for this, as to my knowledge, all the subsidies are heading the other way at the moment. You might like to look at your energy bills (if in UK), as they often show the 'environmental levy' on them!!

"Breakthroughs in solar electricity generation are coming all the time and there are many ways to avoid using fossil carbon."

Yes they are. However, nothing at the moment can provide anywhere near the same generation capability and reliability. When they do, great, but that's a long way off.

"We will have to eventually, lets do it before we wreck the planet."

Finally, something you're right on!! I absolutely agree. But lets try and not put everyone back into caves in doing so.

23
2

"No it hasn't - regardless of whatever you may wish to attribute that to. Please go and read the science you talk about."

Are the met office scientists? I rather thought they were.

The graph is very interesting also for the flattening around the 50s.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/monitoring/climate/surface-temperature

Yes they are scientists - and they probably understand the difference between surface temperatures and "global warming".

4
14
Silver badge

"Yes they are scientists - and they probably understand the difference between surface temperatures and "global warming"."

So, now global warming is being limited to only a specific type of temperature is it? All you're doing is exactly what gives the man made global warming crowd a bad name. You're changing definitions all the time. Oh dear, this temperature (whatever it may be) seems to have stabilised. Oh well, we'll simply say we meant this other temperature instead.

That's half the problem. The people trying to put forward this 'science' keep changing their definitions and what their measure of warming is etc.

So, could you give me the exact meaning of 'global warming' then and exactly which temperature it is you're talking about.

Of course, the link between surface temperatures and air temperatures is well established!! Or, are you talking about a temperature somewhere high up in the atmosphere?

15
3

@Mad Mike

"Yes they are scientists - and they probably understand the difference between surface temperatures and "global warming"."

So, now global warming is being limited to only a specific type of temperature is it?

Nope. Never has been, and is not now. Here's a hint - what covers around 70% of the Earth and is very deep.

All you're doing is exactly what gives the man made global warming crowd a bad name. You're changing definitions all the time.

No i'm not - i'm just pointing out that surface temperature is not the only indicator of global energy retention.

Oh dear, this temperature (whatever it may be) seems to have stabilised. Oh well, we'll simply say we meant this other temperature instead.

Don't be an arse.

4
13
Anonymous Coward

Grew up in the 1950s. Didn't wear a seat belt until 1969, my first car. I'm still here.

Your analogy is as flawed as climate change.

5
6
Silver badge

Re: Where do you get those ideas from Mike?

"and also please correct for the Argo "corrections""

Correct for the corrections? IOW uncorrect it?

"given radiative energy transfer is the slowest means of energy transfer (or thermos flasks wouldn't work) How can slightly changing the amount of CO2 in a convection current (the atmosphere) change surface temperature? The surface is losing energy at a particular rate (via convection, evaporation and radiation) you slightly reduce the radiative rate - would that not just increase the convection/evaporation rate without subsequent temperature increase?"

The Earth's surface actually loses more energy by radiation than by any other means of energy transfer. For exampe see: http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/images/earth_rad_budget_kiehl_trenberth_1997_big.gif

"you slightly reduce the radiative rate - would that not just increase the convection/evaporation rate without subsequent temperature increase?"

Does extra sunlight just increase the convection/evaporation rate without subsequent temperature increase?

0
5
Pint

Climate and scientists

It seems to me that the serious climatologists are swamped by opportunists who know that they can get grants by predicting imminent doom and gloom.

I know a NASA senior scientist who said, essentially, "AGW is mostly bunk and the evidence is very thin, but if we said that publicly we'd lose a lot of funding".

We need to have an honest review of the climate issue, not one run by vested interests such as IPCC. I think the AGW issue would melt away!

We could do as much as electric car deployment would achieve by commuting in small cars. The UK lists over 80 mainly diesel cars with lower emissions than a Prius, and smaller cars would alleviate parking. Or better still, telecommute! (Sorry MS Mayer!)

7
1
Silver badge

They can't measure our contribution

All they can measure is temperature etc. They cannot measure how much is due to human causes and how much is due to natural causes because there is no way to tell them them apart.

So that is why they bang on about their models. The models they build are supposed to model what is happening and thus allow them to figure out the contributions.

Unfortunately nature is far more complicated than any model.

Scientists are people too and are thus prone to confirmation bias - tweaking the models to support their pet theories.

8
1

Climate and scientists

It seems to me that the serious climatologists are swamped by opportunists who know that they can get grants by predicting imminent doom and gloom.

I know a NASA senior scientist who said, essentially, "AGW is mostly bunk and the evidence is very thin, but if we said that publicly we'd lose a lot of funding".

We need to have an honest review of the climate issue, not one run by vested interests such as IPCC. I think the AGW issue would melt away!

We could do as much as electric car deployment would achieve by commuting in small cars. The UK lists over 80 mainly diesel cars with lower emissions than a Prius, and smaller cars would alleviate parking. Or better still, telecommute! (Sorry MS Mayer!)

5
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Climate and scientists

"I know a NASA senior scientist who said, essentially, "AGW is mostly bunk and the evidence is very thin, but if we said that publicly we'd lose a lot of funding"."

Well I know a senior Scientologist and he said "It's all true and you are going to be fried to a crisp very soon"

1
4
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: @Mad Mike

"Nope. Never has been, and is not now. Here's a hint - what covers around 70% of the Earth and is very deep."

Indeed. But, ocean also has a surface and therefore can have a surface temperature. I've just looked up various surface temperature maps and they cover the oceans as well as the land. So, what's the issue with surface temperature?

"No i'm not - i'm just pointing out that surface temperature is not the only indicator of global energy retention."

No it isn't. But, it isn't following the pattern they thought it would. So, you're just saying oh well, this one doesn't follow what is expected, so I'll choose another temperature.

"Don't be an arse."

It's not me jumping around, accepting one temperature and drawing conclusions from it and ignoring another because it doesn't support my argument.

5
0
FAIL

Re: Where do you get those ideas from Mike?

Ahh noms back again....

"Correct for the corrections? IOW uncorrect it?"

Yep when the Argo buoys were originally launched the measurements returned were a lot lower than expected so the figures were "adjusted".

Good old Trenberth again - yes ultimately the energy is lost to space as radiation (at the edge of the atmosphere - though of course some is lost by escaping molecules) but now work out the energy required to run the hydrological cycle. Also work out the how much energy is used in the photosynthesis cycle. We have a lot of energy used within the system changing the state of water which takes up energy at the surface and lower levels and moves it (against gravity) to higher levels of the atmosphere. Also the earth is not a black body so most of the estimations of the energy budget are fudges bigger than the biggest fudge you can imagine.

Extra sunlight does "work" on the system therefore increasing the temperature. Extra CO2 does not do any extra work so does not increase the temperature. Now if you wish to challenge the laws of thermodynamics go ahead.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Where do you get those ideas from Mike?

"It's also WRONG to claim global warming has stopped. Atmospheric temperature rises have slowed for the last decade or so because of successive La Ninas and a couple of big volcanic eruptions that tend to lower temperatures, but atmospheric temperature is only just over 2% of the planet. The oceans for a start hold 93% and their temperature has continued to creep upward as predicted."

I note that you fail to acknowledge that solar output is currently illustrating a decreasing multi-cycle trend. You also fail to address the issue to plant based CO2 absorption. Both are contentious issues with much research still required.

The science is absolutely illustrative, it is far from absolutely authoritative however.

Currently it's a case of many 'known unknowns' in amongst all the hard data and science, as such a scientific consensus is required. But, concensus != undeniable absolutes.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Where do you get those ideas from Mike?

"Yep when the Argo buoys were originally launched the measurements returned were a lot lower than expected so the figures were "adjusted"."

I see. Your dogmatic faith based position has no room for the original, preliminary, data containing errors that needed subsequent correction. Because you liked the original results, therefore any correction away from them must be wrong.

"Extra sunlight does "work" on the system therefore increasing the temperature. Extra CO2 does not do any extra work so does not increase the temperature. Now if you wish to challenge the laws of thermodynamics go ahead."

I have no wish to challenge your lack of understanding of thermodynamics. Anyone who is so foolish as to imagine the greenhouse effect violates laws of thermodynamics is beyond help. You might as well be arguing the Earth is 6000 years old.

1
5

Re: @Mad Mike

""Nope. Never has been, and is not now. Here's a hint - what covers around 70% of the Earth and is very deep."

Indeed. But, ocean also has a surface and therefore can have a surface temperature. I've just looked up various surface temperature maps and they cover the oceans as well as the land. So, what's the issue with surface temperature?"

Nothing in particular, it's part of the picture .. my point was it cannot be used to say what the short term trend is in the global energy budget because it's effected in the short by other factors, e.g. La Nina/El Nino. Look at the data you linked, look at the papers and discussions about this - and why the energy sink in the deep ocean is not in lock with what happens on the surface. Don't take my word for it - go and have a look at some information about this.

""No i'm not - i'm just pointing out that surface temperature is not the only indicator of global energy retention."

No it isn't. But, it isn't following the pattern they thought it would."

What makes you think that ?

"So, you're just saying oh well, this one doesn't follow what is expected, so I'll choose another temperature."

No i'm not - neither are the scientists behind the papers i've seen.

""Don't be an arse."

It's not me jumping around, accepting one temperature and drawing conclusions from it and ignoring another because it doesn't support my argument."

Neither am I - the original statement I questioned was that global warming had stalled in the last 2 decades.. as has already been pointed out in this thread, data seems to indicate that the increase in surface temperatures has slowed - partially or wholly on the expected impact of a reasonable robust La Nina (as we have seen before). You then linked some data of surface data which actually demonstrated the rise in surface temperatures over the last century. Even so, although demonstrating nicely this trend, this is not the same as the energy buildup in a global sense (atmosphere, surface, ocean) - again then are plenty of places available out there which discuss this. So - did I jump around ? I don't think so - I questioned a specific point (global warming stalling vs. surface temperature) which you then pointed out more surface temperature data, to which I pointed out exactly the same issue - and then you started talking about me 'jumping around'.... do you see my point ?

On another accusation of yours - I am not ignoring any "temperature", whatever that might mean - what makes you think so ? Is it lack of clarity in my comments (quite likely), a lack of your understanding of the issue (it would seem quite likely) or something else ?

I'm more than happy to debate things and I have a healthy dose of skepticism about a number of things - but repeatedly telling me i'm changing tune when all i've discussed from the start is the difference in global energy retention vs short term surface temperature measurements is not really helping. Enough people in this thread have pointed out issues to look at that might be relevant to this conversation, but i've not seen any evidence that you have explored any of them. Pity.

1
2
Anonymous Coward

Agree, people may need to look more longterm and be more honest than they are comfortable with.

Who would like the problem to be solved, but around 2040 or so? Well, it's possible. Sadly people are squeamish about planning possibly slightly beyond their own lifespan.

For example:-

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-13-24_en.htm

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Hope the Guardian's Monbiot reads this report.

Maybe then he will stop talking as if his opinion is the "will of the masses".

16
3

This post has been deleted by its author

P_0

Re: That's USA, right?

In any case, the underlying issue is that most politicians lack the vertebra required to push an unpopular decision once in a while (f.e cut down on your intravenous Middle East oil dependency).

They did that. It's called fracking.

11
0
Silver badge

Re: That's USA, right?

I totally agree that politicians lack the vertebra. The Middle East oil dependency could be broken by only by using fracking for oil,as well as gas. Unfortunately, as of yet, no other suitable alternative for oil (i.e. petrol and diesel) actually exists. Electric cars are simply not viable, either practically or financially. Yes, we should research and get them better, but for now, they're pretty close to useless. Electricity generation requires foddil fuels or nuclear at the moment. Nothing else has the capacity and dependability for base load, let alone financial viability (yes, I know the financials around nuclear may be dubious as well, but they're better than wind for instance).

As to the Maldives.......well, I'm afraid they'll simply have to move. The climate on earth has changed hugely over time with or without mans help. Sea levels have risen and fallen dramatically and locations like the Maldives has gone under the water before. Just because men are now on them, doesn't give it the god given right not to. That's climate change, which is a perfectly natural thing.

At some point, we'll learn it's better to 'go with' climate change, than constantly try to fight it. Nature is more powerful than humans (no matter what we think) and we'll loose in the end.

31
2
Silver badge

Re: That's USA, right?

There appears to be a lot of bad press concerning Fracking, most notably for the environment. Is it really an alternative solution ?

1
2
Silver badge

Re: That's USA, right?

"There appears to be a lot of bad press concerning Fracking, most notably for the environment."

I strongly suspect that should read

"There appears to be a lot of bad press concerning Fracking, most notably from the environmentalists"

I always read article with "doom, gloom, being exploited and being lied to by powerful interests (linked to republicans)" on fracking generally underneath an article about how global warming is still not being taken seriously or suppressed by powerful interests (generally linked to republicans). Go figure.

18
1
Silver badge

Re: That's USA, right?

Like everything fracking has its ups and downs. Some of this is whether its done correctly and some is inherent in the technology. The question is really which of a bad bunch are we willing to go with. There's no real 'good' option, so its more a case of picking the least 'bad'. Yes, fracking has potential environmental impacts, but then so do wind farms and hydro schemes etc.etc.

13
0
Silver badge

Electricity generation requires foddil fuels or nuclear at the moment.

Geothermal is also good.

4
1
Silver badge

Re: That's USA, right?@Mad Mike

"At some point, we'll learn it's better to 'go with' climate change, than constantly try to fight it. Nature is more powerful than humans (no matter what we think) and we'll loose in the end."

Politcians and bureaucrats certainly won't, I'm afraid. Canute is remembered for trying to turn back the tide and failing, not for the fact that he was demonstrating to his courtiers that he could not.

7
0
Silver badge

Re: Electricity generation requires foddil fuels or nuclear at the moment.

"Geothermal is also good."

Absolutely. Geothermal has many advantages, not least reliability of generation (not relient on wind etc.). However, how much research is going into it? Very little in comparison with wind, which is being thrown up everywhere at huge cost and it simply can't deal with base load. We need to identify which potential generation options are reliable and could be good in the long term and invest in them, both research and deployment. Wind is not one of those. It's not even a quick fix really. So, why are we investing so much in it, other than short term politicial advantage?

10
0
Silver badge

Re: That's USA, right?@Mad Mike

"Politcians and bureaucrats certainly won't, I'm afraid. Canute is remembered for trying to turn back the tide and failing, not for the fact that he was demonstrating to his courtiers that he could not."

Very true. A seemingly built-in function of human beings is an absolute arrogance over everything around. We MUST be more powerful than nature. We're human beings after all. When, in reality, Canute was absolutely right and obviously far more intelligent than his advisors.

Shame there's not more of it about.

7
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Electricity generation requires foddil fuels or nuclear at the moment.

Geothermal (just like Hydroelectric) is excellent for reliability and 'renewability' but limited to particular geographic locations (mountains + rivers for hydro, volvanically active / thin crust locations for geothermal). It should be used to the max of its capability, but most of the prime spots are already being used (eg Iceland) and non-prime spots become progressively more expensive verging on uneconomical.

Same holds for wind by the way, you can't take data from the current windfarms in prime locations and extend that to the rest of the world to project some fantastical future (see el Reg peak wind article earlier this week). The one 'renewable' that still has lots of potential is solar, mostly because a lot of the prime locations are in poorer / less developed or troubled / wartorn nations, but this also has the intermittancy /storage drawback.

4
0
Ogi

Re: That's USA, right?

There are alternatives to petrol/diesel.

Biobutanol is pretty much a total replacement for petrol, no need for engine modification. Ethanol needs modification to the engine/fuel system/fuel lines/ECU for cars that are not designed as "flexfuel".

Biodiesel works in old diesel engines, it needs a bit of refinement for use in modern direct injection diesels, but is not an insurmountable issue.

We have all the alternatives to synthesise fuel for transport (in fact, over a century ago, before fossil derived petrol/diesel, this is what cars/engines ran on).

The only reason we do not use them is because synthesis would cost more than the current prices of fuel. I seem to remember someone calculating that petrol would have to hit £1.20 a litre in order to make butanol a worthwhile alternative (note, that is £1.20 a litre of actual fuel cost, not including the crazy 70%+ tax we pay).

I do also know that biobutanol is coming online for small scale testing refineries in Europe, so people are planning for the future, and working on it.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: That's USA, right? potential environmental ..

like tap water catching on fire.

i mean

like tap water catching on fracking fire!

1
14
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Electricity generation requires foddil fuels or nuclear at the moment.

Wind provides a key component in fighting global warming!!

after we realise they are a waste of space as generation (which they clearly are - even if the wind blew all the time, they are still shite) Then we can wire them up backwards and use them as bloody big fans to cool us all down!

7
0
Silver badge

Re: That's USA, right?

@Ogi.

I agree and if we can get them working, all power to them. They do, however, have one big disadvantage. They all require the use of crops to provide them. This has two effects. Firstly, it puts food prices up and supply down as land is turned over to growing fuel rather than food. Secondly, the first point leads to deforestation etc. to provide more farm land. So, again, they're not all positives, there are some negatives. Overall though, as part of the mix, a step in the right direction.

4
0
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Electricity generation requires foddil fuels or nuclear at the moment.

"after we realise they are a waste of space as generation (which they clearly are - even if the wind blew all the time, they are still shite) Then we can wire them up backwards and use them as bloody big fans to cool us all down!"

I'm sure the sheep on Scottish hillsides will be very pleased with this. Not sure about the fish in the North Sea though.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: That's USA, right?

"note, that is £1.20 a litre of actual fuel cost, not including the crazy 70%+ tax we pay"

Not necessarily, just make the biofuel tax-free, provided it meets certain standards

0
0
Silver badge
Joke

Re: That's USA, right?

"Not necessarily, just make the biofuel tax-free, provided it meets certain standards"

Ha, ha, ha, ha.

Sorry, my sides have split!!

Part of the reason for the man made climate change religion is that politicians love it. The opportunities for them to relieve us of our cash are endless. It's also why they only subsidise pointless things that only a small number of people will ever use. e.g. electric cars.

10
0
Flame

Re: That's USA, right?@Mad Mike

The basic problem with trying to fight climate change is that right from the start, you're on a hiding to nothing. To limit CO2 output, you have to get every single major emitter on-side and cooperating. Since China, the USA, Russia, the Ukraine, India, pretty much most of Africa and so on all refuse to thus cooperate, then this sort of limitation is not going to work from the word go.

Doing as Britain has done and putting into law a raft of frankly moronic limits without having a way to compel obedience from anyone else, and without having alternative power sources that actually work for base-load output (do note this bit), all the UK climate change bill is going to do is make whichever government tries to follow it extremely unpopular.

Britain is a democracy. Democracies work on votes, cast by voters. If several parties have as their electoral platform "Vote for us, we'll tax hell out of you in pursuit of a daydream" and one does not, then guess who gets elected?

5
0
Paris Hilton

Re: That's USA, right?

"Not necessarily, just make the biofuel tax-free, provided it meets certain standards"

That will only go so far. The natural instinct of government is to tax, so if you starve that one on consumable, biofuel in this case, then the tax will need to be made up elsewhere. Arguably for legitimate purposes in the case of transportation as a portion of fuel taxes are used to fund roadways and related "infrastructure." This manifests as some localities (and states like Washington, IIRC) wanting to impose a mileage fee on hybrid and electric vehicles as, obviously, owners of such offending vehicles are not paying their fair share to use the roads.

Paris, tons of tax-free mileage.

1
0
Stop

Re: That's USA, right? potential environmental ..

Yes, well if you will source your drinking water from a borehole which taps directly into an old coalmine, then you're going to get methane in the water, aren't you?

If you're referring to the Gaslands film, you might like to know that this "methane in the tapwater" thing was happening BEFORE the fracking operation began, for the aforementioned reason.

6
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: That's USA, right?

@Alan W "The natural instinct of government is to tax".

The reason governmenst want to tax stuff is so they can use the money for their pet programmes, so having the biofuel tax-free would be a subsidy for biofuel, ie would need to be government policy to not tax biofuel... or to gradually increase tax on it as yields (and price) fall, to keep some sort of parity with petrol.

It certainly beats spending that money on subsidising wind farms

1
0
Ogi

Re: That's USA, right?

@Mad Mike

Well, you can use any biomatter. Quite why would anyone grow food and burn it makes no sense to me. More likely to make use of non-edible leftovers, weeds, refuse, etc... that is not needed for feeding.

Not to mention, from what I heard about the EU, a huge amount of perfectly edible food is thrown away every day due to over supply. Things like the CAP keep EU farmers producing with a subsidy. What usually happens is either:

a) The good goes to waste, literally, they just let it rot, or

b) they dump it on the market, which in the past got them in trouble because they were driving farmers in the developing world bankrupt, and causing these countries to require food aid.

c) they don't farm the land at all. Essentially they a paid to keep the land fallow.

We don't have a problem feeding people, we generate more food that the entire human population needs. It is more about distributing the food, and the difference in production per sq/m in Europe and say, Africa.

Quite frankly, if we got all these extra European farmers producing crops for fuel instead of food, we may well stabalise the food supply, rather than having this unstable supply/dumping/etc... and also not have to pay people to not work.

Oh, and the food prices have little to do with food supply, more to do with speculators hoarding food on the commodity markets to make a fast buck.

Some of the research in biofuel now is in using algae, rather than plant matter. Nothing is insurmountable with this technology at the moment. All that it needs is refinement, and research into scaling it, which is more of engineering challange.

Also, the UK government has removed fuel duty for the first 2500 litres of biofuel you produce yourself for personal consumption, so unless you need more than 200 litres of fuel a month, you could in theory do this and get very cheap fuel (assuming they have not changed anything).

1
0
Silver badge

Geothermal is very limited

There are just few places in the world where geothermal is economical. And it isn't infinite.

Wind has some huge appeal because it is very visible. This allows the politicians to tell the voters they are doing something (being interviewed with a windfarm in the background).

1
1

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.