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Green momentum

Yesterday I received a spam-email, with a link to this, which begins thus:

The public sector has a key part to play in the fight against climate change, as well as ensuring the security of the country’s energy supply. The Public Accounts Committee has criticised the UK’s ‘unacceptably slow’ progress towards meeting its renewable energy targets. Understanding the scale of change required, and the public sector’s role in leading the way, is vitally important.

And the Gadarene Swine are moving towards the cliff edge with abysmally insufficient urgency.

Later:

Greening the heat supply is extremely important – heating accounts for roughly half of Britain’s carbon dioxide emissions. The Department for Energy and Climate Change recently announced the launch of the world’s first Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which aims to increase renewable heat generation from 1% to 12% by 2020. The £860m scheme aims to encourage the installation of equipment such as renewable heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar thermal panels to reduce emissions and support the existing 150,000 jobs in the heating industry.

Once again, we observe that Law about how, when you name a government department after some problem, this guarantees that the problem will only get worse.

All of which just goes to show the power of momentum. The mere arguments in favour of such policies have taken a hammering during the last year or two, and I daresay that the event that this piece of spam was alerting me to won’t have quite the buzz that its organisers had been wanting when they first set it up. Doubts – in the form of puzzled and angry questions about what to do about the rising tide of climate denialism, but doubts nevertheless – may be heard during it. And that matters, because unless there is global unanimity on this issue, curbing some of the CO2 emissions of little old Britain will be so extremely pointless as actually to seem somewhat pointless to some of those who favour such a policy. But, too many bets have been placed, too much Green Money is now swilling around, for this foolishness to end at all soon.

In the recent Local Growth White Paper, the government emphasised its commitment to delivering a huge expansion of renewable energy over the next 10 years. Recognising that community renewable energy projects play a vital role in meeting the national need for secure and clean energy, they will now be allowed keep any business rates generated. Moreover, the planning system has caused hold-ups in the past, but imminent changes to planning powers will make it simpler to take advantage of such opportunities.

In other words, this Good Cause is now deep into the racket phase. Which means that the end is in sight, but not before a lot more money has been given to some very undeserving people.

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12 comments to Green momentum

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I agree up to a point; however, some of the renewable energy folk might argue that the Japanese nuclear power problems and the high price of crude oil give their views continued credibility.

    I think that your broad point stands but the current economic background means that the “Green energy” people still quite a broad hearing. In the investment management industry, for instance, the Green theme still gets a fair amount of noise.

  • Frank S

    There is still the momentum of the youth movements on ‘climate change’ (in quotes because it means next to nothing), who may make up in numbers what they lack in intellect: http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2011/04/marches-of-madness-in-may-child-victims.html

  • Ian I

    I agree entirely, “the public sector has a key part in the fight against climate change”

    Seeing as the climate is constantly changing and it is beyond mans control the public sector should be abolished.

  • Paul Marks

    Even if the science of man made global warming is 100% correct (do not have stroke Brian – I say this simply for the purpose of going to the next point) the policies suggested by the “Greens” (and their hangers on in all major British political parties – and most political parties around the world, with the notable exceptions of the American Republican party and the Australian Liberal National party alliance) would be utterly wrong headed.

    For example, public ownership of forests with an access rights system, the policy in Brazil for many decades now, has been an utter disaster. Leading to massive deforestation (whether or not this leads to global warming is a different point).

    To protect the environment (as with all other good things) the correct path is plain – the path of private property, of getting the state out of these matters.

    Precisely the path the “Greens” (or whatever political party) reject.

  • Surellin

    I did not recognize until I read this article how very angry I am about the use of the word “green” as a verb. It is becoming a sort of shorthand for a whole variety of (largely dubious) environmental and political beliefs. Worse, since it is such a shorthand term, it obscures the actual beliefs and policies which undergird it. After all, who can object to “greening”? – until it becomes apparent that this means less energy/more government/dim light bulbs/having to listen to George Monbiot. Color me incensed.

  • Fred Z

    “… but not before a lot more money has been given to some very undeserving people.”

    Sorry, wrong, these are very deserving people. It is morally wrong to let a sucker keep his money and these ‘undeserving’ people are in fact enforcing morality.

    If the common man votes for folly, he deserves to get folly, good and hard.

  • Chuck6134

    Thank God the voices of us peasants here in the States are being heard lately on this mess. Of course the fervor of Green energy as a religion wasn’t so wide spread here at even the best of times.

    Even corn based ethanol is losing support outside of the corn raising belt (and it’s representatives) with many enviros actually claiming that they NEVER supported using food for energy. Aside from that laughable claim, it’s telling when supporters are looking around at the distortions and political climate and suddenly trimming their sails

  • tranio

    Canada is having a general election on May 2nd. The Green party numbers in the polls are way down cf to those 2 years ago. Mind you it has been really cold and snowy in Western Canada this year.

  • “…some of the renewable energy folk might argue that the Japanese nuclear power problems and the high price of crude oil give their views continued credibility.”

    Yes – from March 12th on, some of these people must have understood what was to be gained from scaremongering over nuclear power. In Taiwan, the opposition party candidates are preparing for next year’s presidential election by promising the phase-out of nuclear power in 14 years time.

    On renewables, the very largest onshore wind turbines (e.g. the Enercon E-126) seem to be comparatively cheap in capital costs (40 TW hours per year), 2,014 of them would need to be built over >323km2 (which means that farmers stand to make a mint in lease arrangements).

    But it doesn’t matter – the future is surely gas, anyway.

  • Strange: part of my comment seems to have gone missing… my second paragraph ought to have read:

    “On renewables, the very largest onshore wind turbines (e.g. the Enercon E-126) seem to be comparatively cheap in capital costs ( (40 TW hours per year), 2,014 of them would need to be built over >323km2 (which means that farmers stand to make a mint in lease arrangements).

  • Oh, I see why… try again:

    “On renewables, the very largest onshore wind turbines (e.g. the Enercon E-126) seem to be comparatively cheap in capital costs (less than U.S.$1 million). To replace Taiwan’s three operating nuclear power plants (40 TW hours per year), 2,014 of them would need to be built over >323km2 (which means that farmers stand to make a mint in lease arrangements).

  • Paul Marks

    Chuck 6134 – sadly you are not totally correct.

    For example, the Supreme Court is hearing a case about whether States have the right to sue enterprises for the terrible sin of emitting C02 (for breathing) or whether C02 should be left to tender mercies of Obama’s EPA.

    A third option – “Congress has never given either of you buggers the right to tell me whether or not I am allowed to breathe or whether my powerstation can emit C02 – assuming even Congress has the Constitutional power to give this right in the first place…” is not on offer.

    As for ethanol – the rifinaries continue to built right now (mostly in the Chicago area).

    You try getting government permission to build an oil rifinary – almost impossible.

    But ethanol? No problem – here is a subsidy.

    The centre of all this “Green” stuff is the Chicago Climate (or Carbon – I have seen it written both ways) Exchange – set up with charitable grants from groups that Comrade Barack (and other Comrades) took control of long ago.

    These days the CCE is an active alliance of certain large enterprises (such as General Electric and Goldman Sachs) and activists groups – normally watermellons (green on the outside – red on the inside).

    Although the original idea for a “Carbon Exchange” and “Carbon Trading” was invented by Enron – as one of their corrupt scams.

    These days the academic, cultural, media and (yes some of the) business elite, use the idea for much worse things than a bit of fraud.