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Discussion > Is this what winning is like?

"current climate policies are damaging, potentially disastrous and, in any case, pointless"

Robin, that message is already coming through loud and clear in today's MSM:

Feb 24, 2013 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Roger: I wish that were true. But, yes, these articles are encouraging (although, for the Establishment and bien pensent, articles in the Express and Mail are likely to be counter-productive). However, they only really cover the first ("damaging") element of my proposed message, with only a slight hint (essentially via Professor Gordon Hughes) of the second ("disastrous") element. People take reliable energy for granted but very few realise how basic it is to an advanced, developed economy – see this one-minute video – and how vulnerable it would be in the event of major power outages. And, re outages, people may be aware of our increasing reliance on wind power but few, I think, know that - throughout the UK (onshore and offshore) - the wind often doesn't blow in periods of extreme heat or cold.

But the third element (“pointless”) element of my message is not being communicated at all. I suspect there’s a widespread feeling that, “yes I know it may be painful and even risky, but we have no choice: we must do our bit to save the planet”. How many people know that we represent a (shrinking) 1.7% of global CO2 emissions and that, in the unlikely event of our actions doing anything much to reduce our emissions, we would have experienced damage and pain without it making the slightest appreciable difference to the global picture? Few I suspect.

As I said before: we’re knocking on a partially opened door. We need to kick it wide open.

(PS: I think the above may illustrate how a simple "soundbite" can cover a complex set of concepts.)

Feb 24, 2013 at 7:30 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

This is a discussion from Grist. A view from the opposite side and mighe give you a wry smile or two.

I think they know that the pipeline is a done deal and are wondering what to do next. What works with the public.

Some of them realise that without an alternative for fossil fuels there will be no significant CO2 reduction. Some refuse to admit that renewables aren’t working and cite Germany as a role model. Ha.

Feb 24, 2013 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

who talks of winning when windmills are still being constructed, coal-fuelled power stations are starting to be decommissioned, fracking is essentially off-limits, there are no plans to do coal-to-gas refining, the floor-price for nuclear power is above the current level and the feed-in tariffs still exist?

Get real!

Feb 24, 2013 at 11:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Robin, sorry to butt in on your conversation with Roger, but I have long pushed the "what would be the effect of us reducing our CO2 output to zero." I used to use the 2% of total global output, but started to use our yearly output compared to China's. When I started doing that 2 years ago, our annual output was 6 weeks of China's output. Last time I looked our annual output had dropped to around 25 days of China's output. Whatever method we use we have to get these numbers through to our politicians, even they can may be able to see that at the going rate by the time we've reduced our emissions by 50% China will be emitting that amount in a few days at the current rate of increase in CO2 output.

We really are "tilting at windmills."

Feb 25, 2013 at 5:11 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

If we were clever in a political way, we'd have several groups.

One group would be discrediting current renewables, but they would come from an impeccable green background. Much time would have been spent getting them noticed as a radical environmental group - they'd be arrested chained to railings outside power stations, they'd enlist a couple of celebs, they would decry the evil bigoil denier, etc. Their beef with green policies is that they simply aren't working, and we're all going to die, it's worse than we thought.. etc.

Another group, with similar green credentials, would be exposing bed-feathering politicians, showing how Big Govt is just using the smokescreen of green policies to allow some of its members to quaff grants, contracts and payouts in the name of green. If we don't stop it now, the temperatures will be up by 10 degrees in a week, we're all going to die, it's worse than we thought.. etc.

The idea is that the ideas of the current UK mitigation is critiqued and destroyed from within the green movement itself. As soon as a group (GWPF, for instance) criticises any aspect of green policy, their arguments are already coloured by a preconception that the people making those arguments are simply ideologically opposed, and they are sidelined.

Once the current groupthink is exposed as a sham, it will be far easier to make the point that - if they were wrong about that - ... etc etc.

Feb 25, 2013 at 7:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

I hesitate to suggest this, as it has been tried before and failed, but how about an epetition to keep the coal fired power stations burning and turning? Now that the impending crisis is front page MSM news, perhaps they would support this, as they supported an epetition from the Hillsborough group?

Feb 25, 2013 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Se above.

"We call on the government to stop plans to close coal fired power stations, as demanded by EU climate change directives. Closing power stations will lead to blackouts and will be seriously damaging to the country. As there is no evidence that shows that UK carbon dioxide emissions will lead to dangerous global warming, current climate policies are damaging, potentially disastrous and, in any case, pointless."

Feb 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Roger, e-Petitions just don't work in my experience.

Feb 25, 2013 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

There already is an epetition:

"The Government should cancel the imminent closure of coal-fired power stations. This proposal will deliberately drive up the cost of fuel for the public and industry. It will also make the UK more dependent than ever on imported gas, much of which comes from unstable countries. The lights will go out with disasterous consequences for industry and society"

Before I signed it there were 2 signatures....

Feb 25, 2013 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

this has to be a start...

ie first MP publically to say so, what do they privately think, lots more concerned about energy policyperhaps...
(before rushing to agree as a herd)

Feb 25, 2013 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

We win only because Mother Nature herself has turned out to be a "denier".

But the scars of what have been done will never fade, and long before any 'victory', the activists will have moved on to destroy something else with their thoughtless egotism.

Repealing the Climate Change Act won't take us back to where we were before it was passed -- for a start, all those latter-day mo'ai will litter the landscape, monuments to a failed religion of the elites.

I'd settle for a scenario where there is widespread distrust of, and distaste for, unaccountable bureaucracies and NGOs, those protected stalking horses of the activists.

Feb 27, 2013 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Could this be something we could work opon as joint and individual efforts? Write our own and then share and improve?

Feb 28, 2013 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Paul, how's that do at Nottingham coming on? I'm up for it provided it isn't another science/policy convocation of the great and good like the IoP one I went to where real people were not encouraged to speak. I may be cynical, but I doubt any uni is going to let a bunch of sceptics have free rein for fear of criticism. We'll have to have 'balance'. Then we'll be stuffed as the dull hand of bureaucracy descends.

In terms of pub meets, I'm up for anywhere in the southern part of the UK. Whatever happened to the London initiative? Just need a good venue and a date/time that doesn't rule too many out.

Feb 28, 2013 at 7:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

TinyCO2. Yes
Start a discussion thread and I’ll join in. Barry Woods had done brilliant work sorting out who belongs to what in the tiny well-funded world of climate social science. I’ll be writing in, quoting some examples of research (Corner, Lewandowsky). Discussion here could save overlap.
The good thing about Paul’s idea is that social scientists with expertise on scepticism can hardly refuse to listen to sceptics.

Mar 1, 2013 at 5:45 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Having read the rules, the submissions have to be confidential but that doesn't stop us discussing around the subject and a group submission would certainly require some discussion, probably in a pub.

Mar 1, 2013 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

In light of the rules, I don't know what others think about starting a new discussion. Perhaps a few others could comment. I do think it would be useful to avoid too much overlap.

The sort of thing that should be included is how when people try to engage like Pat Swords' latest story. There's nothing to back up the stuff the governments are pushing. From the BBC to the UEA they've stonewalled to hide that they've got no answers. Us sceptics are just the front line, people who've volunteered for duty. Behind us will be all the conscripted people who will start asking questions because they're forced into it by rising bills.

Mar 1, 2013 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


Re a pub meet, let's assume it's to be somewhere in the southern part of the UK and see if we can agree a possible date. I, for example, could manage any day or time from 18 March to 30 March - i.e. Monday to Saturday.

As to venue, Oxford would be fine for me. But London better - and, with reasonable notice, I could probably arrange a good quiet room (15 or so people) near the Barbican. Not a pub, but some good pubs nearby. Or I know a nice room in a pleasant pub near St Albans.

Other ideas/suggestions?

Mar 1, 2013 at 5:33 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Should we start a new thread, since this is far off topic?
Are you sure submissions have to be kept confidential? I read:
“Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum ... Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee”
(I don’t understand why)
I’ve been looking at some of the sub reports of the main “International Dimensions of Climate Change” at
(I can’t download the main report. Is that because of the 13Mb?)
It’s going to be very delicate, I think, to design critical comments that can’t be dismissed as off-topic flat-earthism.

Robin Guenier
How near St Albans? I’m around Harpenden 21 March - 10 April.

Mar 1, 2013 at 7:48 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Geoff: even nearer Harpenden (4 miles) than St Albans (8 miles).

Convenient for anyone else?

Mar 1, 2013 at 9:13 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

I will be submitting a response, both to the committee, and directly to the parliamentarians, because I believe any response that doesn't support the party line will be filtered out before it gets to the troughers.

My response will be along the lines of the obvious democratic deficit in this exercise. Here we have parliamentarians whose job is solely to do the will of the people trying to find out why the people won't do the will of the parliamentarians - that sort of thing anyway. I intend to include the fact that the two most influencial chairmen of climate change committees are up to their fetlocks in making money from renewables, as clear a signal there can be of the contempt the people are held in by politicians. I will be warning them that if they continute to believe the public should all hold the philosophical views or the characters in the films Love Actually and Notting Hill, we will be looking at a HoP with a 500 seat majority for UKIP in three general elections from now. I intend to follow this admonition with the uncertainties of the science. I will outline the fact that we now have CCA for which their is no engineering road map, which for sure will result in rising energy prices and black outs, and which isn't, in my view at least, going to be conducive in persuading the public that we will shame the Chinese into reducing their output of CO2, currently 14 times ours. I don't know what good it will do, but i'm not sure any of us will get a hearing if we don't follow the Politburo's line anyway.

I will copying the response to Osborne and other ministers

Mar 2, 2013 at 6:37 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Geronimo: "parliamentarians whose job is solely to do the will of the people". No, that is not their job.

Mar 3, 2013 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

"parliamentarians whose job is solely to ignore the will of the people".

Is that better?

Mar 3, 2013 at 3:43 PM | Registered Commenterrhoda

"Geronimo: "parliamentarians whose job is solely to do the will of the people". No, that is not their job."

When you've grown up and left school you'll look back on these juvenile assertions with embarrassment.

Mar 5, 2013 at 6:09 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

If it had been left to the "will of the people", the UK's bankers would probably be hanging from lamp posts and the death penalty would be back on the statute books. It's because the government is scared of the "will of the people" that plants are made illegal to grow (think poppies and weed). It's arguably because of the "will of the people" that the UK is in such a terrible financial state (who would have wanted to be a politician trying to tell the electorate in 2000-2008 that public spending should not grow at an insane rate).

A lot of government probably has to do with doing the "right thing" despite the "will of the people". As the Luxembourg pol Jean-Claude Junkers said regarding economics, “We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we’ve done it.” Only blinkered idealists believe in the "will of the people".

Mar 5, 2013 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket