We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Unless someone invents a way to store energy in massive bulk, Net Zero will mean quivering under duvets in the dark on windless winter nights. We are on the path to poverty, misery and a failure to inspire the world to decarbonise.

With costs not yet apparent in people’s lives, MPs have been content to rub along with consensus, dealing with more immediate existential crises, like the political fiascos over Brexit and the pandemic. Only now, with Brexit behind us and as the economy and life open up after the pandemic, a few commentators are starting to question whether families, businesses and the UK economy as a whole can really afford the astronomical costs of renewables. Ministers urgently need to respond candidly in full to those questions.

If ministers don’t obtain and maintain the consent of the public for Net Zero now with full and frank explanations of the costs and changes ahead — as they relentlessly have not during the panic of the pandemic — eventually there will be a terrible revolt. Fear will not be enough. Even the “nudging” government scientists currently engaging in it confess that, “using fear as a means of control is not ethical” and it “smacks of totalitarianism”. Is this really who we want to be?

Steve Baker discussing the Net Zero insanity.

Unfortunately, if the last year and a half have shown anything, yes, that is indeed “who we want to be”, or at least a great many people do. But until the Tories not just abandon Net Zero but actively repudiate it, there is no way in hell I will even consider voting for them at any level of government.

14 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Tim the Coder

    I wouldn’t worry about freezing on windless winter nights.
    Even a brief watch of any of the “In the Factory” series makes quite clear just how dependent the food industry is upon HGV transport and large processing plants with constant electricity for the machinery, the QC, the computers, the cooking, the sterilisation, etc etc etc.
    So Net Zero means no food in the shops. You eat what you can grow – if you can defend it to harvest it.

    So those cold windless winter nights – well famine will have solved that.

    It’s strange that the elite seem to think they will be alright – where do they think their food will come from?

  • djm

    Baker seeking to be considered relevant, & failing……again.

  • Bulldog Drummond

    So you don’t think people need to be saying this kind of thing, djm? I’d be delighted if more MPs did so!

  • Mark

    The “consent of the public” is irrelevant, it is the consent of the laws of physics and real world engineering that is required. If you want to actually do away with fossil fuels, unless you are intending to build nuclear on a huge scale, or have plentiful hydro available, forget it. Things like fusion may be available in future, but we don’t have them now.

    You can either have a prosperous technologically advanced society with a good standard of living, or you can have “renewables”, you can’t have both. Choose the latter and you would have to get rid of – guessing here – probably half of the population of this country at least.

    That would suit me if I could choose the half. The problem is, that is precisely how the “green” nazis “think”

  • llamas

    Q. Mummy, what did we use for light, before there was candles?

    A. Electricity, dearie.



  • Rob Fisher (Surrey)

    Mark, there’s no need to get into discussions about whether or not net zero is technologically possible. (see https://brianmicklethwaitarchive.org/la/tacn007.html )

    What the public is consenting to (the ones that do) is allowing the state to meddle, thereby slowing down technological progress, and possibly causing people to freeze or starve.

  • lucklucky

    Another Marxist famine…this one with major conservative party support.

  • Jacob

    ” it is the consent of the laws of physics and real world engineering that is required.”
    This “net zero” idea is pure fantasy, make believe, fairy tales, nonsense. Won’t happen, no matter what, it’s utterly impossible, physically. Not in 2050 and not in 2100.
    So people talking about it are certifiably crazy, have lost contact with reality. It does not matter which party they belong to.
    That Boris Johnson adopted this idiotic slogan doesn’t make him a lefty, it makes him an idiot. But he is in good company, this craziness is prevalent in much of the world.
    What is to be expected is energy poverty, a huge waste of money invested in “renewables”, intermittent and irregular supply of electricity – which will cause a great deterioration of life quality – i.e. poverty. And no significant reduction in emissions of CO2.

  • Paul Marks

    It is brave of Steve Baker to point this out.

    Yes – unless there is a massive expansion of nuclear power (either fission or fusion – or both) then “New Zero” is a disaster.

    Almost as much as disaster as alienating your allies in the Delian League by confiscating their money and using it for public works projects in Athens to buy votes (not to build up the military). And then going to war with Sparta – having alienated your allies first.

    Why did I not listen when I was told that that a certain politician, as a student and after, was a follower of Pericles – the classic smooth talking politician with terrible policies.

    Why was I so stupid?

    When I heard he was a follower of Pericles – why did this not really register with my soggy brain?

    Yes Pericles would be making brilliant speeches in support of “Net Zero” – anything (anything at all) to win popularity.

    The future of the Polis? Who cares about that? What matters is applause and popularity.

  • Mark

    @ Rob Fisher, Jacob

    Reality will reassert itself, its just a matter of when and exactly how.

    Looks like it will be milk floats and the blame game may have already begun: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-57160298

    The belief that millions of milk floats can be on the road and be charged by windmills (as well as powering everything else), and that this can be done within 15 years. Has there ever been anything so stupid? And that is not a facetious question!

    There is no way the sheer impracticality of milk floats can be hidden in the absence of the truly massive upgrade required to the grid (and this is not just a case of providing the estimated extra generating capacity, which has to be reliable, so it cannot be “renewable”), for which there are no plans.

    The next few years might be rather interesting.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    You are still the same person, Paul- someone who believes that Trump was cheated, and doesn’t want to admit that he lost.

  • Jacob

    What “net zero” and Communism have in common – is that both are terrible ideas that are bound to have (or had) devastating consequences – yet both have a huge allure and following, especially among “intellectuals” (i.e. “thinkers” that are separated from reality*).
    The difference is that communism is a social theory, while net-zero refers to the physical world (energy production) and therefore is easy to test.

    *Can there be such a thing as thinkers separated from reality? What are they thinking about?

  • You are still the same person, Paul – someone who believes that Trump was cheated, and doesn’t want to admit that he lost. (Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray May 22, 2021 at 7:20 am)

    Paul is not quite alone – you can add a healthy majority of Republicans, 30% of polled Democrats, and others here including me – but as you doubtless saw my relevant posts at the time, and yet are still the same Unlicensed Joker, perhaps this example of unwitting humour will better promote mutual sympathy.

    “Luzerne County’s election director has confirmed that there is a ballot screen error that is confined to the header on the viewing screen of the machine, and that all ballots are printing correctly … ”

    Thus does a Dominion Voting Systems spokesman assure us it is nothing to worry about that Dominion Voting Machines insist on describing Republican as Democrat.

    “… even though the header says something like ‘Democratic ballot,’ it’s actually for the races that are in the Republican party,”

    So nothing to see here and it’s all been/being fixed – but it isn’t actually helping me feel assured these Dominion voting machines never get the party wrong, and I fear it will not help Paul either (nor those Republican voters who first saw it).

    Your robust faith will not be troubled by this tiny, promptly-caught pinprick – it has clearly weathered much more serious trials. 🙂

  • Katy Hibbert

    Net zero was the toxic legacy (one of many) of Theresa the Appeaser. Boris should have ditched it but he listens to his soppy, woke babymomma.