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Thatcher is dead, the architect of this whole golbal warming nonsense.

Apr 8, 2013 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

TT

Poor Geoffrey seems to be getting a bit of a pasting in the comments. Where are the usual suspects?

Apr 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Looks like someone's told Geoffrey Lean to get back on message:

Now there's new hope of avoiding dangerous climate change, if urgent action is taken

Apr 8, 2013 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterTurning Tide

Thanks mikeh. The Economist article ("The fuel of the future - environmental lunacy in Europe") can be found here. Its conclusion:

In short, the EU has created a subsidy which costs a packet, probably does not reduce carbon emissions, does not encourage new energy technologies—and is set to grow like a leylandii hedge.

Apr 8, 2013 at 10:36 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Looks like the Economist is on a roll.....Now it is carrying a major article which argues that using biomass in power stations will take at least a century to become "carbon neutral" and it highlights the massive subsidy costs, impacts on other industries, etc..
Encouraging signs.

Apr 8, 2013 at 9:53 AM | Registered Commentermikeh

Has anyone been able to log on to JoNova blog today please?

Apr 8, 2013 at 9:37 AM | Registered Commenterpeterwalsh

Earlier today I followed up Robin's link to the NG report and the comment about "possibly available" additional capacity. That did not make happy reading when I read further into the status of the various plants which took me to some of the generators' websites. My impression is that NG's comment is disingenuous, at best.
One of the plants (Keadby) is "deep mothballed" meaning it will take a year to re-commission and the owner does not expect to revisit that for at least 2 years.
Another, newish, high-efficiency plant has already had its output throttled from 1800 MW to 1200 and is about to be cut back to 400 because of "access charges".
The main cause for the other closures - "non-availabilities" - is simple economics. Unless/until the cost of gas comes down and/or the price of electricity goes up, it is not profitable to run these plants. That is not a situation which will change soon or easily given the mindset of the government and the current state of the gas market.
To rub salt in the wounds, one generator's site listed a number of major new CCGT projects which are ready to go - or close to it - but where they do not expect to commit until 2015 or 2016. That means these stations will not be ready until 2017/18 at the earliest. Presumably they are waiting for the outcome of the next election to see if there is any sign of a sensible energy policy.
My overall impression is that the generators are totally p****ed off with being messed around and with the total lack of any clear, long-term policy. So they seem to be sitting back, popcorn at the ready, watching the looming train wreck.

Apr 7, 2013 at 10:41 PM | Registered Commentermikeh

jamesp:

I fear you're right. People take electricity for granted. Few understand the fragility of a modern city: wholly dependent on a reliable electric supply. Few understand the consequences if healthcare, transport, water supply, food supply, sewerage, telecommunications, street lighting, computing and other electronic equipment, banking, industrial, emergency services, domestic heating … etc. systems were to fail, possibly for days on end. In a period of severe cold, we could be facing an urban holocaust.

Some commentators here may know that, from 1996, I was Executive Director of Taskforce 2000, tasked with raising awareness of the Y2K problem. It was clear then that widespread computer failure could cause mayhem - happily avoided because people listened and action was (largely) taken in time. But that was 17 years ago and IT today is far more widespread. And then government was on our side - supporting our efforts to resolve the problem. Today it seems determined to make it worse.

Apr 7, 2013 at 8:53 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Brownedoff

"Disaster is marching along quite briskly"

I agree, and those who think that the occasional loss of power will simply be a re-run of the mid-70's, where we quite enjoyed the odd evening by candlelight, are forgetting the rise of the computer, which is now required to run everything, from point-of-sale equipment to traffic management. Almost nothing will work without them, and most uninterruptible supplies are designed to cope with temporary power losses, i.e. minutes rather than hours. The level of likely chaos is limited only by the breadth of your imagination...

Apr 7, 2013 at 6:07 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Change of subject. I see that at 9:00 PM on Thursday next the TV channel PBS America is to broadcast an item entitled "Climate of Doubt". Here's an overview:

John Hockenberry investigates the organisations who have taken on the scientific establishment, environmental groups and lawmakers to shift the direction of debate on climate issues and redefine the politics of global warming. Their claim is that man- made global climate change is a myth, a hoax. With the resources to make their voices heard, they have been remarkably successful in getting their message across. During the current economic situation, the arguments of the sceptics can become strangely persuasive as Americans reject anything they perceive as an obstacle to free trade. The cap-and-trade approach to tackling climate change, which sets a limit on carbon emissions and creates a market for carbon allowances, is seen as a threat to freedom and prosperity by right-wing opponents of government intervention. Funded to a considerable extent by large corporations, these organisations offer a simple message to a society that seems unwilling to tackle a problem that will threaten future generations rather than the present one.

Groan. At least it's not on the BBC. Yet.

Apr 7, 2013 at 5:33 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

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