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Discussion > Deben's Low Hanging Fruit

People like Lord Deben think they were winning the war of hearts and minds on cutting CO2 and only sceptics stand in their way. However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that they’ve had a false level of success that is impossible to sustain, let alone build upon. They assume a superiority based on past performance but it's all smoke and mirrors. Sceptics are the least of their problems.

Since 1990 much of the low hanging CO2 fruit has been picked:-

The last nuclear power station was commissioned.
40% of production, formerly supplied by coal, was swapped for gas.
Inter connectors with Europe joined us with spare ‘green’ capacity.
The UK grid had spare capacity that has been tightened and reduced.
Industry has been hit hard with costs and made the greatest cuts.
Those industries who couldn’t reduce enough have left and are now imported goods.
65% of all homes now have loft insulation.
Of homes that can have cavity wall insulation 60% have been done.
Many suitable homes have double glazing.
More than a third have condensing boilers.
We have had a major recession, which has much reduced the public’s disposable cash.
Air temperatures requiring domestic heating have, till recently, stayed high.
Almost as much wind as an over supplied grid could cope with has been installed.
Transport has become much more efficient but overall output the same.
People were fired up by the BBC, media and Hollywood.
A series of natural weather disasters seemed like a scary trend.

With all that, only 25% of UK emissions have been cut from 1990.
If imports are included our emissions are actually greater than 1990 levels.
Most cuts have been from industry and electricity generation.

http://www.carbonbrief.org/media/185003/screen_shot_2013-04-24_at_10.18.24.png
http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/03/uk-greenhouse-gas-emissions-rose-in-2012-decc

Upcoming problems:-

Temperatures are declining fast in the UK, leading to more heating.
Most of the nuclear power stations are due to close with no new ones yet started.
Grid capacity is almost at breaking point and balancing more wind will be hard.
European ‘spare’ is in much demand by Germany, etc and is scarce in cold spells.
Wind turbines are much less reliable in supply and less durable than predicted.
There is no way in sight to store excess wind energy.
The recession is over and will probably result in a return to consumer spending.
Business investment should also increase.
The Green Deal has almost killed spending on insulation and other improvements.
Many of the obvious home improvements have been done.
Electric cars are very unpopular and unsuitable for most.
Carbon capture is still only a theory.
Nuclear fusion is still decades away at best.
UK population still growing.
The government wants more homes built to house the increases.
The last large CO2 reduction avenue is the 40% coal share in generation.
Hollywood has maxed out climate catastrophe.
The media is bored with CAGW.
Public support for CO2 reduction is waning fast, followed by CAGW belief.
Sceptics are a real grassroots movement, not an oil funded mirage.
UK temperatures are almost back to ‘normal’ and global values stable.
Climate is not getting worse.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/graphs/HadCET_graph_ylybars_uptodate.gif
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/10/what-the-year-of-living-dangerously-at-nearly-400-ppm-of-co2-in-earths-atmosphere-looks-like/

Well Lord Deben et al? Where do you go from here?

Sceptics, have I missed anything?

Aug 12, 2013 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

What spawned this is Lord Deben's recent Twitter questions. He acts like it's us that has to convince him we have a case. I would argue that our case merely reflects what the public will soon think and the free ride climate hysteria has had so far is almost at an end. If he and those like him want to have any chance of maintaining their poor start in reducing CO2 they need to have answers to our questions not fob us off with pointless questions of their own.

Aug 12, 2013 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Worthwhile initiative TinyCO2. I've also been thinking of Deben on Twitter, that his choice to interact showed considerable weakness. I think he knows the debate is slipping away. But further renewable subsidies - through contracts for difference or any other means - can do massive damage even if the public has largely become (policy) sceptic. So even the fig leaves must be removed.

Aug 12, 2013 at 2:30 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

But he’s still not debating. He’s issuing quips from the Bob Ward book of warmism. His posts have been unanswerable questions.

“Climate dismissers/deniers claim researchers produce evidence of climate change because of grants! Evidence and names please?” How can you prove a thought crime? The closest we got was the CRU emails and they whitewashed those. Without independent investigation there will never be proof. It’s not as if Lord Deben provided proof that some MPs were fiddling their expenses but it didn’t mean it wasn’t rife. It was only FOI that brought it to light and MPs fought tooth and nail against it. It’s almost like they were all stretching the system.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5301734/John-Gummer-claimed-more-than-9000-a-year-for-gardening-on-MPs-expenses.html

Warmists have done everything they can to prevent climate science being opened up to scrutiny but like MPs expenses, not having proof doesn't stop people assuming the worse about you. The MPs fighting FOI didn't make them look any better in the end.

Aug 12, 2013 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

I agree that he didn't debate but he did 'interact'. I think he would not have felt the need before and that a lot of this is due to the two Andrews: Neil on the Sunday Politics and Montford at the select committee. Plus the real shift in consciouness caused by shale gas. Because there has been some real debate even Deben pipes up. Ben Pile is right to talk about a consensus without an object - but this weekend he did so with Deben right there. One never knows what straw will break the camel's back. And with climate it's a caravan of camels, from shoddy science to risible policy. So everyone's straw has a chance.

Aug 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

True and I think the interaction stems from a belief that we are the problem not a symptom of a bigger issue. I always think of attacking sceptics is like swatting flies driven ahead of a stampede. Sooner or later they will be mown down.

However, I've seen other warmists take the same path. They interact, spout buzz phrases to their camp followers, get out argued and then clam up. Twitter is especially suitable for hit and run warmisms because it almost precludes coherent answers.

Aug 12, 2013 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2