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Discussion > Is this what winning feels like? (redux)

Back at the end of last year, I made some jokey predictions about what might happen this year. I'm glad to say they were as inaccurate as an IPCC Assessment Report chapter, or a Michael Mann tweet.

Here I am sitting watching the BBC news which is reporting the government is considering cutting back on green levies. The Australians, long the bastion of loony green policies, are dismantling their government green machine. A few weeks ago, the BBC reported the lack of warming for umpteen years (then dishonoured themselves with their unseemly churnalism over AR5). But the facts stand that they no longer omit the sceptical view, even if it is patchy coverage. As we always hoped, the other branches of science are starting to call out the flaky crap which passes for science in the climate community.

Is this what winning feels like?

Oct 23, 2013 at 6:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

too early yet...wait till you see Marcus Brigstocke making jokes about swampy.

Oct 23, 2013 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

My guess is that the "green levies" will be transferred to general taxation. And there they can sprout and grow, unseen and unchecked. Quite a result...

Oct 23, 2013 at 11:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

Clegg would like to displace green taxes onto general taxation (and it would be fairer) but chancellors don't go for that sort of thing. They prefer to spread taxes across the board so you don't notice how much they're ripping you off. Tax when you get the money, tax when you save the money, tax when you spend the money and tax when you're dead and can't take the money with you.

Given that the future of CO2 reduction will depend upon global temperatures, it's hard to work out if or when there'd be an end. There has to be a point where they admit wind and solar are a waste of time. They'll flirt with tidal but there's no proof that will ever get off the ground. CCS is insane and they'll eventually have to admit it. Without a much clearer temperature signal there won't be an escalation of action on CO2 but it could grind on for years, simply beause too many people have made too many promises to green companies. Too many egos are tied to CO2 being a catastrophe.

If the Chandras of this world are right and CO2 is a problem they have a huge problem. They have to stop kidding themselves that CO2 reduction will happen by conning the public into it. Equally, we're not stuck in the past where we can be ordered to give up energy. Politicians will fold to immediate pressure and ditch green initiatives rather than lose elections.

The CAGW waters are distinctly muddy and both sides need clarity. I think the way forward is a real debate with the public and I won't expect much improvement until that happens. Who knows, perhaps the BBC will have a volte face and decide to truly impartial? Or maybe pig farmers will need microlights to herd pigs.

Oct 24, 2013 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Seeing as Bishop Hill types are always so concerned at how many people die because of energy prices, they will doubtless be glad if government takes the cost of insulating vulnerable peoples' houses away from energy bills and puts it onto general taxation. And even happier when such actions are increased by an order of magnitude.

Oct 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

I have a clear idea of what winning looks like, and we are a long way from it. Firstly in the unlikely event of the ECS being 3C there is nothing we can do about doubling our CO2 either in medium to long term, it is politically and economically unfeasible and would require agreements from China, India and the other awakening giants to agree to halt their march to prosperity - not going to happen.

Even if it was going to happen, there is no feasible replacement for fossil fuels other than nuclear but given the clout the greens have with their 3% of the popular vote, that's out. Wind and solar are joke, so there's nothing much in reality we can do to mitigate CO2 so we have to put our attentions into adaptation, so for me victory would be the government having an energy policy based on producing the cheapest energy possible so we can increase our wealth sufficiently to adapt should any of the lunatic forecasts be remotely true;. In other words, drop the whole global warming thing and get on with making the lives of our citizens better.


Oct 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Geronimo - yes, the best option is prosperity over piddling green money down the energy drain. That way you can either deal with the consequences or have the money to act quickly when something truly useful comes along. Or just spend the money on something essential like health. The real question is what would get us to that point?

Oct 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Green levy going to the lower paid

Taking advantage of the Government’s largesse with taxpayers’ money, I had a POD Point home charging unit installed at our house last summer (mine was, I think, the first to be fitted in Scotland). This tidy little number that looks like a garden hose reel attached to the wall by our front door would normally cost more than £1,000; but the Office for Low Emission Vehicles generously subsidised the whole sum for ours – as they might for yours if you look sharp and get your application in quickly (homecharge@pod-point.comtel: 020 7247 4114).

Free insulation to anyone on benefits has been available for years, doubt there's anyone left except those who have a house construction that can't be insulated like mine.

Oct 24, 2013 at 2:23 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

I agree with geronimo that we're a long way from winning. I'll believe we're heading the right way only when our politicians (plus the rest of the UK Establishment) begin to understand that our current GHG reduction policies are pointless - not least because, again as geronimo says, the really big emitters, "China, India and the other awakening giants" are not going "to agree to halt their march to prosperity". I suspect George Osborne may understand this. But he hasn't said so explicitly and, in any case, few of those in power share his view. Owen Paterson is probably the exception.

Oct 24, 2013 at 6:13 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier