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« Improving peer review | Main | The greening of the Sahel »
Sunday
Jul142013

Ed Davey on Sunday Politics

Ed Davey was given a pretty thorough interrogation by Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics today. Well worth a look, and probably due-a-line by line examination as well.

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Reader Comments (157)

Blathra,

Davey was not right on those three points

1) The graph shown was quite unrepresentative of the overall historic trends, I could have chosen a shorter timescale which showed warming this decade.

It wasn't about Neil choosing a "convenient" time-scale to show what he wanted. The time-scale of the graph was chosen to match the original IPCC scenarios - i.e. from the 80s/90s onwards. His entire point of questioning was that what the IPCC said back then - the projections which prompted all the changes which are costing money - have not happened in reality. If Neil had wanted to score cheap graph points, he could have chosen any temperature chart starting in 2002, all of which show a decline. But he didn't.

2) The complexity of the earths climate and the different reservoirs for heat and CO2 must be considered in order to get a full picture of climate change, and they were not!

There are no reservoirs for earth's heat left! For years we were told it was in the troposphere, but it's not. Now we're told it's in the deep ocean, but it's not measurably there - we can't find it. This mysterious reservoir which makes climate change science so complicated simply does not exist. To claim it's hiding somewhere and we just haven't discovered it yet is the last bastion of the scoundrel. We're measuring everywhere like mad. It's not there.

3) CO2 concentrations were mentioned but they are not static;just becasue they reached 400ppm they have not stopped, they are continuing to rise with current global emission at 30 billion tpa. This means future CO2 concentrations are likely to reach 550 ppm by 2045, and double again by the end of the century (if we do not reduce them). What then?

What do you mean "what then?" - it completely depends on how sensitive the climate is to a doubling of CO2. The whole point of showing that temperatures haven';t gone up as much as they thought for the current increase in CO2 means that they have probably overestimated what EVERY doubling of CO2 will do. If climate sensitivity is well under 1 degree, then a doubling and a further doubling will not have much effect. That's why it's not mentioned - what is important is the observed temperature rise for the CO2 we have already put in place is lower than they originally thought, and may indeed turn out to be nothing. So further doublings may also be negligable.

Davey was also demonstrably wrong about so many other points that his credibility in answering any point (by accident - even a stopped clock is right twice a day) was severely damaged.

Jul 16, 2013 at 8:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Watch Ed Davey about 13 & 1/2 in when he chants the litany of renewable projects. The bliss on his face is revelatory.
===============

Jul 16, 2013 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Just because I'm not a very nice person, I have e-mailed The London Array to get a figure for the current output (either in GW or MW - was tempted to say watts as well but thought better of it) - including a figure showing that output as a percentage of the installed capacity..
What triggered this off (apart from the PM's fatuous speech when he 'launched' this wind farm) was that this morning I passed the wind farm visible from the A14 on the Cambridgeshire/Suffolk border - all the blades of course being completely stationary...

Jul 16, 2013 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Further to my post above - no response.

I'll take that as embarrassment, then...

Jul 17, 2013 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

I watched the video on YouTube. Both sides are talking in circles and twisting themselves into knots in an effort to convince the other side they're wrong. This is not very productive. Shouldn't this start with an agreement about "first principles" whereby the goal of the Minister of Energy should be "to promote a system of power generation and transmission that provides users with most cost effective and reliable source of energy possible in a safe and environmentally responsible manner?"

Any proposed changes to the energy system should be subjected to a cost/benefit analysis vis a vis the "first principles" mentioned above. Specifically, new projects would have to be cost effective, reliable, safe, and environmentally responsible. IMO, this cost benefit analysis would weed out solar, wind, and biomass at the concept stage.

The only characteristic "renewable energy" may have going for it is "environmentally responsible" with regards to CO2 output (although even that is debatable). However, if CO2 reduction is that important to you, you might be interested to know that Ross McKitrick has demonstrated other means to encourage reduction of CO2 output which are less expensive than "renewable energy" by a factor of 10 and much less disruptive to the economy and the environment.

If these "first principles" were the basis of discussions with wiley folks like Ed Davey, it would help focus the debate on the few important characteristics of any power project rather than wasting time on endless arguments about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Jul 17, 2013 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterB.O.B.

B.O.B.

Many here would echo your desire

to promote a system of power generation and transmission that provides users with most cost effective and reliable source of energy possible in a safe and environmentally responsible manner?

Try and get that through to Ed Davey or anyone else in the government, many of us have tried.

Jul 17, 2013 at 9:37 PM | Registered CommenterDung

A transcript that take far less time to read: https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/home/20130714_sp

Jul 22, 2013 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterEric Gisin

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