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« An early leaving present | Main | The environment correspondent's standards »

Saving the world with fossil fuels

The must read article this morning is Matt Ridley in the Wall Street Journal, who points out that little-mentioned but rather critical point about fossil fuels - we can't do without them.

As a teenager’s bedroom generally illustrates, left to its own devices, everything in the world becomes less ordered, more chaotic, tending toward “entropy,” or thermodynamic equilibrium. To reverse this tendency and make something complex, ordered and functional requires work. It requires energy.

The more energy you have, the more intricate, powerful and complex you can make a system. Just as human bodies need energy to be ordered and functional, so do societies. In that sense, fossil fuels were a unique advance because they allowed human beings to create extraordinary patterns of order and complexity—machines and buildings—with which to improve their lives.

The result of this great boost in energy is what the economic historian and philosopher Deirdre McCloskey calls the Great Enrichment. In the case of the U.S., there has been a roughly 9,000% increase in the value of goods and services available to the average American since 1800, almost all of which are made with, made of, powered by or propelled by fossil fuels.

I don't think the greens are going to like it.

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Reader Comments (83)

Fossil fuels HAVE saved the world......

They have lifted the perilously low atmospheric CO2 content up to a value that may at least keep the carbon cycle working for quite a while longer.

But much more is needed. !

Mar 14, 2015 at 8:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndyG55

"I don't think the greens are going to like it."

What does the GreenPlaque ever like?

Apart form a mythical medieval non-industrial utopia where only the select few greenies are allowed to live!

Mar 14, 2015 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Will the eco-fascists insist that Jeremy Clarkson be used to help fuel Drax?

The Public must know.

Mar 14, 2015 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Matt Ridley is saying something about energy that is obvious to any physicist/engineer and is saying something about the impact of the use of energy by humans that should be obvious to any sensible person. One can draw the conclusion that anybody who is opposed to Matt's position is not a physicist/engineer and/or is not sensible. That sums up the green blob I think.

Mar 14, 2015 at 9:24 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The Green Blob, with its ability to screw the public purse to finance its anti "carbon" propaganda, is winning. Energy costs in the West are rising fast, to the detriment of the poor and manufacturing industry. These parasites have wormed their way into the body politic and, regardless of the absence of global warming since the last century, their wicked agenda has succeeded.

How can the barrage of green disinformation be combated? Maybe by an equal-and-opposite "pro energy" lobby with similar fundraising skills to its opponents, bombarding the media with "energy is good", stories.

Mar 14, 2015 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Remarkable essay Matt.

So eloquently put Mr Ridley, coal and oil took us out of the depths and gave humanity light, heat and the power to drive industry to make ALL of our lives better.

Energy is next to cleanliness and longevity.

Cheap and copious amounts of electrical power; it's knock on effects enabled mankind to increase expected lifespan by double and more what it was in 1800 - hospitals and universal health care - that's what cheap and plentiful energy does for you and whose going to run the scanners when the grid goes down and the diesel back up is banned?

Mar 14, 2015 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

OK, look, it is not as if humanity stopped to consider what to do from 6 different feasible options. We are using fossil fuels because that's was the way people figured how to improve its lot... and progress we did, and progressing we are. This says that the path taken has proven itself but not that it has been born, again, from a selection of the best of available options.

Furthermore, we still don't have 6 different plans to choose from. We are evidently wealthier and this allows room to mess around and fail some but it still does not mean why can throw away what got us here because, once again, it is not as if there are a plethora of feasible, viable options available. There are, in fact, none aside from what we've got. Plenty of chimeras, fantasies, and delusions, there exists. But proven ways, just this one.

So, fossil fuels are not that great but, rather, simply proven fit to get us here. There is a difference that I think is relevant to make.

Mar 14, 2015 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrute


"Energy is next to cleanliness and longevity."

I haven't been personally down wind of an anti energy protest but have heard rumours re cleanliness. And the longevity part may yet to be obvious to such.

Mar 14, 2015 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnother Ian

The only green is the verdigris on their brass necks.

A minority that won't take no for an answer is an irritant. Ridley shows how to apply the ointment.

Mar 14, 2015 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

'the Great Enrichment. ' its that very thing that the Greens hate for they think it comes at a cost to the .'natural state ' .
They dream to of return to some mythical gold past era where man was in harmony with nature before the 'fall form grace ; brought about by this 'the Great Enrichment. '
The fact its BS and that in reality this is means a return to short and grim lives with very high child mortality rates and where people spent most of their time trying to find something to eat, means nothing to them .

And that is way if we could ever come up with unlimited 'green energy ' they would oppose it anyway , hence why their happy to promote energy sources they know cannot work .

Mar 14, 2015 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

I would view any warmist more favourably if they at least admitted the truth of Ridley's points. When people can't or won't accurately observe the past and the present, why would you ever trust their visions of the future? You don't have to ignore the problems with fossil fuels to admit the benefits. Ask a warmist to examine energy rationally and they react to coal and oil like a five year old girl asked to touch frog spawn.

Mar 14, 2015 at 10:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Bjorn Lomborg writes to point out to me that my source for the statistics on energy consumption (BP) may actually OVERSTATE the contribution of renewables, but also omits the wood and dung many poor people use, so overstates the proportion of fossil fuels: "the BP analysis of energy doesn't include non-traded biomass in the third world (which makes up about 10% of global energy). It also approx triples the energy worth of wind and solar (because the argument goes that you'd need three times the coal energy to make the energy in a power plant.

The International Energy Agency doesn't, while including third world biomass, which means they show the world gets about 0.4% of its energy from solar and wind."

Mar 14, 2015 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterMatt Ridley

I particularly like the ending

The one thing that will not work is the one thing that the environmental movement insists upon: subsidizing wealthy crony capitalists to build low-density, low-output, capital-intensive, land-hungry renewable energy schemes,

as opposed to the poor, cuddly, thoughtful, non-capitalist, environmentally conscious, people who sell us fossil fuels.

Mar 14, 2015 at 10:31 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

as opposed to the poor, cuddly, thoughtful, non-subsidised capitalist (whose shares ultimately determine the value of your pension fund), environmentally conscious, people who sell us fossil fuels.

Whether they are "environmentally conscious" is irrelevant. It is only the fossil fuels and the Great Enrichment that has given as the time, the space, the wealth, and the ability to have some regard to the environment.
Or would you rather go back to the days when the fear was that within 20 years the streets of London would be head-high in horse shit?
Or do you believe that using dung for fuel is "environmentally conscious"?
Or that covering the environment that we have been able to conserve and manage for the last two centuries because of fossil fuels with solar arrays and windmills (which as at half-an-hour ago were contributing slightly less than 2Gw to the National Grid) is "environmentally conscious"?

Mar 14, 2015 at 10:45 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

ATTP has just disproved my statement that physicists understand the arguments about energy. Or one could assume the alternative is correct.

Mar 14, 2015 at 10:50 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

@ATTP: leaving aside gross errors in IPCC pseudoscience, what REALLY annoys me is that the rush to enrich the Renewables' Mafia, which paid our politicians to create the subsidies, and elite landowners, we have a Frankenstein's Monster Grid; windmills + diesel STOR use more fossil fuel for their combined tranche of energy than coal power.

This political, scientific and economic disaster, born out of the hubris of dim politicians like Davey who insisted on diesel STOR despite being told it would mean no fossil fuel saving by the windmills, misled by 'scientists' taught incorrect basic physics, is too far gone to be stopped directly. However, over 4 years ago, government was told at the highest level how these mistakes could be turned around to make very substantial savings in fossil fuel use; decentralised CHP.

Engineers like me around the World are desperately urging the pig-ignorant academic scientivists and politicians to pull back from the precipice, the 'Olduvai Cliff', and with it the death of the inner cities and many millions of our poor.

Mar 14, 2015 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Wow, you can read all sorts of strange things into comments. If you think my point was that we should be going back to the dark ages or that energy is not important, you really weren't concentrating when you read my comment. FWIW, my broad point was about the trivial, and sometimes infantile, narrative in articles like that written by Matt Ridley (and often promoted on this site). The "environmentalists bad, nasty, capitalist, don't care about the poor", "fossil fuels good, help the poor, wonderful, everything will be alright" type argument. The truth is almost certainly somewhere in the middle. Of course, I realise that the goal of this site and the goal of Matt's article is not to promote any serious discussion about this topic; it's all just politics. So, you also shouldn't take what I'm saying as some kind of fundamental criticism, as I realise that this is just part of reality. There's a narrative that some want to promote and it's clear that doing so requires dismissing any alternative view point. Any recognition that some kind of alternative might be plausible would completely destroy this chosen narrative. I just assume that since everyone here is a huge fan of free speech, that you have no real problem with me pointing this out.

Mar 14, 2015 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Simple fact:
Life is energy
Cheap energy is prosperity

Mar 14, 2015 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

Gordon Brown's private office before the 1997 election was paid for by Geoffrey Robinson MP; later on he paid Balls via the Smith Institute. Robinson became PMG and negotiated PFI. Other W. Midlands' businessmen used capital ripped out of industry to invest in country estates, windmills and solar parks. I knew one personally.

The scam was obvious in 2001 when this man, now dead, boasted to me how rich he was to become from subsidy farming. What was not known at that time was that windmills above 10% penetration save no fossil fuel use and that diesel STOR would increase it. The trouble is no politician dare admit the truth because they'd be lynched politically.

Mar 14, 2015 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

ATTP when did you ever write a balanced article on energy that invited "serious discussion about this topic"? When did any warmist? Since the warmist plan seems to be a blindfolded jump off the energy cliff, any article advising against that is a good one in my opinion.

Fossil fuel companies are what they are. We know what they do and don't do. Renewables companies are new but they're not charitable organisations. Most people involved know that renewables are not fit for purpose but are either subsidy harvesting or naively hoping that there is a step change in the technology just around the corner.

Where are the environmentalists playing merry hell with number of birds and bats killed? Where are those warming the sound from windmills will be disturbing dolphins and whales or some such complaint? Where are those weeping and wailing about fields turned into silicon seas? If environmentalists are the green conscience for society, why do they go silent when it comes to 'green' technology? Why does the champion of the down trodden, the Guardian, not object to the unfair pressure of subsidies falls on the smallest, poorest energy users? Why are the champagne socialists happy to decorate their houses with solar panels paid for by people who don't own their own roof?

We speak up because all the usual voices are silent.

Mar 14, 2015 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

You really are King of the Strawman, aren't you?
Nobody on here is suggesting that "environmentalists bad, nasty, capitalist, don't care about the poor", "fossil fuels good, help the poor, wonderful, everything will be alright".
What we are suggesting, with some evidence to back us up, is that heavily-subsidised, needlessly expensive, intermittent, unpredictable, unreliable energy is bad and that cheap, reliable energy is good.
As for the rest it comes down to a question of "if the cap fits ..." or "handsome is as handsome does" or numerous other clichés along the lines of "by their deeds you shall know them".
When the environmentalists behave in a way that accords with their description of themselves and stop giving their support to a form of electricity generation which trashes the environment they (allegedly) believe in and puts large amounts of wonga into the pockets of those who are already pretty well off and mainly at the expense of making poor people poorer or worse unable to afford the energy that they need then we might be on their side because clean and reliable is better than dirty and reliable.
But reliable trumps all.
And if you want a serious discussion then we can have one but since you've never shown any evidence yet of wanting anything of the sort I for one will apply my "by their deeds you shall know them" principle and assume that you are simply shit-stirring.
As usual.

Mar 14, 2015 at 11:42 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Thank you fossils also for the lovely extra warmth that some BLAME you for. Yeah right, how many people would vote for a 2C REDUCTION in temperatures?

Mar 14, 2015 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky


"Why are the champagne socialists happy to decorate their houses with solar panels paid for by people who don't own their own roof?"

Exactly. My local paper (despite reminders from me) still describes FIT's as 'government subsidies', as do most people I engage on the subject. It comes as a genuine surprise to most PV owners that:
a) their 'free' electricity appears on everyone else's electricity bills,
b) the bill payers might not regard them so favourably, and
c) they are not saving the planet.

Mar 14, 2015 at 12:23 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Matt Ridley:

My copy of BP's Statistcal Review of World Energy 2014 spreadsheet claims basis of thermal equivalence assuming 38% conversion efficiency in a modern thermal power station in the tables quoting in units of mtoe for renewables: TWh are also provided. Of course, in the case of "biomass" it might even be about right: Drax claim 40% for their operation.

Mar 14, 2015 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Mike Jackson
Eloquently put

Mar 14, 2015 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

It also approx triples the energy worth of wind and solar (because the argument goes that you'd need three times the coal energy to make the energy in a power plant.

Isn't that a bit one-sided? I would suggest that you either compare the energy inputs (i.e. coal, wind and sunlight) or you compare the electrical outputs - not the input from one and the outputs of the others. Neither wind turbines nor solar panels are close to 100% efficient.

Mar 14, 2015 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

I am genuinely struggling to see how your response to me isn't largely proving my point. I was exaggerating somewhat for effect but I do find it hard to understand how you can suggest that the narrative promoted here (and in Matt's article) isn't essentially "fossil fuels good", "environmentalists bad" and that your response to me isn't saying essentially that. To be clear, though, I'm not trying to defend environmetalists/renewables, or attack fossil fuels. My point is more to do with the nuances of this topic that - AFAICT - is largely ignored by this site and by those who write articles like that written by Matt Ridley.

And if you want a serious discussion then we can have one but since you've never shown any evidence yet of wanting anything of the sort

Well, this may - to a certain extent - be a fair point, but my view is that it is largely pointless trying to have a serious discussion, rather than not having any desire to actually do so.

Mar 14, 2015 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Notwithstanding the fact that, there is no existential warming threat caused by mankind's input of CO² into the atmosphere.

What certain bed wetters need to understand is, it's a simple idea really even if your IQ is the equivalent to that of a gnat, it is easy to grasp and comprehend. That, there would be no 'renewable' industry, no renewable energy sector without public ie taxpayer subsidy - fact.

When governments start to interfere with energy policy, the end result is increased costs and we all know just who is liable to pay for that. Indeed, all governments of one form or another love to meddle in the markets and always get their fingers burned but in the end it is always the consumer which has to fork out for wrong headed governmental policy.
Evidently, the world can see that a planned economy produces North Korea, Ed Miliband still can't resist though can he? But then Communists can't help themselves can they? But they sure know how to help themselves to other people's money, no one ever wanted for anything if he was a member of the Politburo - Soviet Russia one of the most unequal 'equal' societies the world has ever known.

In the UK, insofar as energy policy is concerned we've had a mishmash of uncertainty for more than anyone cares to remember. It would be rather understating my feelings to say that, I am not a great fan of unbridled corporatism. Imho, laissez faire commerce is much more to my way of thinking, laissez faire commerce - where the consumer is given a broad range of choice and is not subject [as we are now] to the conglomerates dictating to their customers - that's not as Marx had it - 'capitalism' [I prefer the descriptor of free markets] - in any way, shape or form.

In brief synopsis.

Here in the UK, we don't have a free market in energy, where competition, competing energy companies can vie for business: on price and availability. No, the best we could come up with was originally a regional division of electricity companies and no competition. In the Eighties, this was somewhat rejigged when the Tories privatized all the regional electricity providers and the national gas provider. Foreign investors espying a bargain and wowee a captive market! bought into British energy in a big way and with buy outs and oversight by the monopolies commission [ha ha ha], we ended up with the 'big six'. Which is in effect what government oversight produced: a cartel. Thus, whether it be through state ownership or, privatization we have no real FREE market in energy. Having said that, more or less it worked well enough - though accusations of profiteering was always going to be a problem, albeit - profit incentive is really what keeps the lights on.

Politics and power.

Our nuclear plant is decrepit and needs replacing, the cheapest form of replacement and fundamentally vital for base load electricity is of course, coal. The green lobby in their finite wisdom will not allow Britain to invest in cheap coal generating technology and think [loose term] that splurging vast amounts of taxpayer's dosh on birdmincers and photo voltaic cells will be some sort of answer - which as everyone knows is lunacy which beggars belief. Since the Nineties but more and more recently Sustainability has crept in to the lexicon of all politicians who espouse the lunatic agenda, ie, use less lecky - or else!
Of course the basic idea of energy efficiency is one which very much appeals to me - we do indeed waste too much. But the rub of the argument is between enforced rationing because of over spending on alternatives which are and will be totally inadequate, as against replacement we have the power and the wherewithal to install tried and tested, cheap and plentiful energy but political dogma prevents common sense policy.

Politics has stuck its nose in and the last thing the UK really needs now: is anymore politics in energy policy. Bring back the engineers but even now - it may be too late.

Can you see?

Mar 14, 2015 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

ATTP, AKA Ken, don't you think that for all the billions wasted, telling the world how terrible CO2 is, climate science has to represent the ugliest, largest, most wasteful and damaging carbon footprint of all time?

Isn't it lucky that those who earn money from it, aren't paying for it? With their lives?

Can you point to any bad weather event, hot/cold, wet/dry that was a direct consequence of CO2? The BBC is currently hyping the storm in Vanuatu, without doubt, severe, and also a tragedy for many. Should all reconstruction be carried out in reinforced concrete? That would make economic sense for aid money, to provide a long term solution, for what has always been a historic problem.

Please do discuss with some maturity, and I am sure others will do the same, or do you ghost write via Daiman?

Mar 14, 2015 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

To marginally mis-quote Basil Fawlty: 'Its a statement of the bleedin' obvious...'

To us out in the real world. Not to the greens, apparently...

Mar 14, 2015 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Read it in full this morning and it's a brilliant piece. It just sets the facts out very cleanly so anyone reading without bias can judge for themselves. Our host is quite correct; Greens will be frothing at the mouth at this article, which is probably a sure sign it's rather good.

Mar 14, 2015 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

I am saying nothing beyond fossil fuels (and nuclear) good because, as Ridley correctly says, the 9,000% improvement in the real value of goods and services — and as a result the quality of life of those who have been able to benefit (and I would be the first to admit that that is not everyone) over the last 200 years — has been due almost entirely to the use of coal and oil in various forms and for various purposes.
If we are sticking specifically to energy, then there is nothing else (except nuclear) which has the capacity to be as cheap and reliable.
So - fossil fuels good.
Using wind power and solar power to generate energy which is expensive, intermittent and therefore unreliable and which has no offsetting benefits to the user except (maybe) that it is "clean" by some definition is therefore, by the same argument, bad.
So far I have said nothing about environmentalists or capitalists or anyone else. Those two statements (agree or disagree as you will) stand on their own merits.
But when a group of people describe themselves as "environmentalist" while at the same time proselytising for a form of energy generation that trashes the very thing they claim to be trying to protect then they are the ones that are moving the argument from: efficient fossil fuels good: inefficient so-called "renewable energy" bad, onto "environmentalists bad".
Not my fault if they want to be hypocrites but "by their deeds you shall know them". I will argue that since I believe nuclear power is the way forward for energy generation and that research into cleaner oil-derivative fuels is the way forward for transport and that it is long past time we were making serious efforts instead of lip-service at getting both these things available to the people who still use cow dung for cooking then I am a better "environmentalist" than they are.
But I repeat it's not because they are "environmentalists" that they are bad; it's because their behaviour is damaging to the environment and worse, they either can't see that or don't actually care!

PS As a practical example, whose idea was it to push for the closure of German nuclear power stations citing Fukushima as a reason?
Bonus question: when was the last time a tsunami hit Munich?
I rest my case.

And if you'll forgive me I am now going to spend the rest of the day watching some rugby. And on the basis that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome, I shall yet again be insane enough to be cheering for Scotland!

Mar 14, 2015 at 2:27 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

ATTP, buy the John Etherington book The Windfarm Scam, and then issue an apology for your misguided advocacy of the fiscally ruinous policies of this non-solution to global warming. A man of integrity, even one who retains his faith in the global warming threat, having read the engineering arguments against this flawed technology, would have the guts to concede the point.

But you don't come here to debate facts do you: you are an irrational ideologue; your faith makes you immune to evidence when it refutes your beliefs.

Mar 14, 2015 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Golf Charlie - I was just WAITING for the BBC to mention 'global warming/climate change' in the context of the typhoon in Vanuatu - and you could almost hear the disappointment in the voiceover when it wasn't forthcoming..

Devastating, certainly, and dreadful for the people affected - but at the end of the day, its a Pacific typhoon...

Mar 14, 2015 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1


I shall yet again be insane enough to be cheering for Scotland!

You and me both, then :-)


ATTP, buy the John Etherington book The Windfarm Scam, and then issue an apology for your misguided advocacy of the fiscally ruinous policies of this non-solution to global warming.

If you think that my comments were me advocating for wind farms, you should try reading them more carefully. Similarly, if you can find anywhere where I have specifically advocated for wind farms, maybe you'd have a point. Since you can't, you clearly don't.

Mar 14, 2015 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

So what point are you making ATTP? And I presume that if the point is that sceptics don't show every side of the issues, you'll be able to show us countless comments you've made in the past to warmists when they've been outragiously biased, let alone those that are slightly one sided? Is Mother Jones littered with your bon mots criticising their economical attitude to the facts? Has the Guardian banned you for presenting inconvenient facts? Has Romm accused you of being a troll for mildly pointing out some obvious fact that doesn't fir his agenda?

I think not.

Mar 14, 2015 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

I meant 'fit' not 'fir' but I quite like the idea of shoving pointy trees up Romm's agenda.

Mar 14, 2015 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Dr. Ridley's essay is commendable save for two points. (1) The amount of technically recoverable shale oil is not following Moore's law. The fact that a well can be drilled faster does not change the geophysics of porosity and permeability dictating what can be recovered at some rate. He is grossly overoptimistic based on a transitory supply/ demand imbalance that the Saudi's know will self correct in about 18 months given fracked shale well decline curves and announced reductions in drilling of new wells. (2) Most methane hydrate (however much there may be) is fundamentally not recoverable, as the concentration is too low and in mud, not sand. These points and more are illustrated in some detail in several essays in my ebook.

Mar 14, 2015 at 2:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterRud Istvan

Tiny CO2, thank you, the multiple entendres of fit, fir and fur are glorious. Romm's passion for warming, might be cooled, if he wore a froidian slip.

Mar 14, 2015 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

"as opposed to the poor, cuddly, thoughtful, non-capitalist, environmentally conscious, people who sell us fossil fuels."

From ATTP, who is a Buyer.


Mar 14, 2015 at 3:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Golf Charlie, :-D

I did think about bristlecone pines but that would have been a pun too fir.

Mar 14, 2015 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

I didn't even bother reading it because the concept is now out of date. There is now little doubt the LENR (also known as cold fusion) is real. The first commercial 1 MW plant made by Industrial Heat LLC is under trial at a customer's factory providing heat 24/7

Current Science had a special section on LENR that you can read if interested.

Mar 14, 2015 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdrian Ashfield

TinyCO2 Bristlecone pines were a rock steady foundation for climate science. Now, they are proving an irratant. They may turn out to be worse, than climate science thought possible. The cost of cleaning up climate science, of bristlecone pine contamination, could be fatal.

To combine the Christmas tradition of fixing a fairy, to the top of a pine tree, with the English tradition of building a bonfire and burning an effigy of Guy Fawkes in November, I can't think of anything to do in between the 2 events during the Panic in Paris this year.

Do bristlecone pines burn well? They could be a source of winter fuel.

Mar 14, 2015 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Adrian Ashfield,

Where is there one installed in a field environment? Seeing is believing on this one.

Mar 14, 2015 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered Commentermichel

More interesting than Matt well and fairly doing his duty to the Ridley estates's multi-megatonne coal reserves is his devoting a whole confessional paragraph to the contingency of having to have a climate policy in the long run-

As the journalistic twig is bent towards the straight and narrow by long service at The Economist so it comes hard for for Ridley to put the full spin on for Team North.

Mar 14, 2015 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Adrian Ashfield

"The first commercial 1 MW plant made by Industrial Heat LLC is under trial at a customer's factory providing heat 24/7"

Please can you provide a specific traceable site reference for this claim along with details of any external audit process?

Many people are doubtful that Industrial Heat LLC are doing anything more than running a scam:

Mar 14, 2015 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Ridley's statement on his coal interests:

Matt Ridley's statement on Blagdon estate and coal mining: I have a financial interest in coal mining on my family's land. The details are commercially confidential, but I have always been careful to disclose that I have this interest in my writing when it is relevant; I am proud that the coal mining on my land contributes to the local and national economy; and that my income from coal is not subsidized and not a drain on the economy through raising energy prices. I deliberately do not argue directly for the interests of the modern coal industry and I consistently champion the development of gas reserves, which is a far bigger threat to the coal-mining industry than renewable energy can ever be. So I consistently argue against my own financial interest.

Mar 14, 2015 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

We need nuclear to increase our energy our power our civilization.

This is why we need to DE-regulate, DE-marxist, DE-Europeanize nuclear industry
DE-fund mickey mouse marxist projects like ITER and JET

and launch a new nuclear era where new ideas new technology is rewarded and spurred

But do not take my words for granted, just listen to any BBC pundit on it (never forget to append the word -NOT- at the end of what they are saying all the time)

Mar 14, 2015 at 5:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenusNotHotterDueToCo2

"I don't think the greens are going to like it."


You think correctly :

Mar 14, 2015 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnything is possible

Russell, nice of you to make an appearance, on behalf of Green Anthropogenic Tag Team Physics. How are Ken and Daiman to day?

Are you now worried that the Green Cash Cow, has been milked to death, by greedy over exploitation?

As journalistic sticks have been used to beat the hell out of anyone who questioned Anthropogenic Tag Team Politics, for a few decades now, does it come as an impossibility to accept anything else? Especially as the public are working it out for themselves.

Green sheep are easily led, by lying vultures, in Green Sheep costumes.

Mar 14, 2015 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

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