Tag Archives: climate change

Net zero tokenism

The UK, as grumpy has written before, seeks to be seen as a global leader in reducing carbon emissions. This is fine, as long as everyone clearly understands that it’s merely an exercise in showing that a relatively small country can do this.

However, the fact is that any action by the UK will have no material effect on climate change. Zero. Zip. None. So to that end, other than the ‘feel good’ demonstrator element, the exercise as things stand in the world, is utterly pointless.

According to EU figures, the UK didn’t produce 98.98% of world emissions in 2017. Yes, the UK’s contribution was 1.02% globally. If the UK produced 0% tomorrow it would have absolutely no material effect whatsoever on the climate change process. It’s best contribution would be, with others, to persuade the top 10 carbon produces to head to net zero. Diplomacy, not heat pumps, is what is required now.

Just four countries produce 55% of emissions, and none of them will be anywhere near net zero by 2040. The USA, no longer a member of the Paris Accord, has in fact been removing regulations which limit emissions for the past 4 years. Even with a new administration, could one imagine that the USA could, for example, introduce a ban on new gasoline powered cars and vans b y 2030 – or even 10 years later? Fantasy.

The issue here for plans for a ‘Green Economy’ is that they are very unlikely to result in lower costs for the average household – in fact, it is likely that house costs, heating bills, electricity costs, and transport costs will all rise significantly. Since all current political parties are committed to this path, the eventual outcome must be rising taxes, wage inflation and hence reactive price inflation. We’ve been here before. The wish to be ‘world leading’ in climate actions will in fact detract from our competitiveness globally.

Grumpy believes the UK has a promising future outside the EU. But there is a hangover in the DNA of the UK from our colonial past of ruling a quarter of the world’s land area, which shows in the inevitable political references to ‘world beating’ this and ‘world class’ that. The wish to be a nuclear power, and (announced by Boris) the largest military in Europe all shows this throwback mentality embedded in the political classes and probably in the Civil Service.

The UK does have world level assets in key areas, particularly research and innovation (although not in the exploitation of same). Having no natural resources to speak of, and too high labour costs to be in low tech manufacturing, the future has to be in services based on distinctive competences, coupled with high tech manufacturing associated with those.

Twisted logic

Another Feminist has entered the battle – one assumes from a self publicity angle rather than ideological purposes – to make a London men’s club – the Garrick – accept women as members. This is Oxford PPE graduate Emily Bendel who has formed a lingerie company, and is being hailed as an example of the thrusting (is that he right word?) confidence of young female entrepreneurs. [Grumpy cannot help but comment that on-line lingerie merchandising is not exactly innovative as a business concept.]

In spite of her Oxford education and presumably lots of upper echelon contacts, Emily had no idea that men only clubs existed, or so she told the Daily Mail. Her attack on the Garrick seems to be driven by a philosophical feminist motive rather than any wish to actually join the Club. Her feminist credentials are underlined by her approach that seductive lingerie is not bought by women to be seductive, but for their own self-actualisation and the pleasure of (presumably) looking in themselves in the mirror. The ‘Social Responsibility’ page on the website states that ‘The Future is Female. ‘

She is seemingly one of the “my peep hole bras and crotchless panties have nothing to do with sex or titillating men” feminists. Oddly, she started off selling vibrators for Anne Summers, although this maybe underlines the ‘self love’ take on her frillies. However, her philosophy (in her own words) for the company is “to redefine sensuality. We design for spirited women that buy lingerie to please themselves and we have pioneered the ‘underwear as outerwear’ trend”. In common with most corporate mission statements this is essentially syntax without semantics, and the juxtaposition of the words doesn’t actually convey any understandable meaning about the company goals.

{Frankly, Grumpy wasn’t aware that the current trend was for him to put his M+S underwear on the outside of his jeans, but he probably moves in the wrong circles.]

However, to the point Grumpy wishes to make. Emily’s ignorance of men only clubs presumably extends to a lack of knowledge of a fast growing sector in London – women only clubs, of which an abundance can be found by a simple Google search. Their existence underlines the conundrum feminists like Emily today have to face; how to harass the gander with needing to having to do the same for the goose.

Normally the answer is to simply take the view that geese and gander don’t have to follow the same rules. Gender equality is a weapon against men but women (delicate flowers that they are) are excused. It’s the Stella Creasy MP school of logic where men will be jailed for misogyny but women are free to practise misandry at will. Similarly, check out Durham University’s student president – presumably elected to represent all students – who publicly declared that she was a ‘misandrist till I die’ as an example of this asymmetric breed.

Nevertheless, Grumpy wishes good luck to Ms Bendell with her lawsuit, but at the same time, for the sake of rationality, equality and one for the boys, he hopes the Judge consigns it to the waste bin of other ‘stunt’ actions.

More information :

The Bluebella website has the normal corporate dung about climate change on its “Social Responsibility” page, and the purely tokenist actions taken to salve their consciences for being in one the the major sectors contributing to warming, ecological damage and third world poverty – see link

See Grumpy’s justification for the ‘tokenist’ comment above here

.. and on Stella Creasy here

On the asymmetry of of female reactions to male ‘voyeurism’ vs the actions of women to deliberately titillate see here and here

Ill informed Thunberg

Greta Thunberg is a Swedish student, and sometime mouthpiece for the Extinction Rebellion movement (“XR”). She has been in London this week (April 20th 2019), and making speeches to a motley crew of politicians, celebrities and others who see hanging on to her coat-tails as a way to increase their public visibility quota, and get ‘green’ pixie points to boot.

XR has, as one of its three stated goals, a target of having the UK zero net carbon by 2025, of which more later, in a second instalment on this group of fantasists.. First, however, consider Greta’s credentials for holding forth on the topic, especially considering the short time in her life she has had to master the myriad of multi-disciplinary complexities – technical, financial and political – of managing climate change.

In a speech in Hyde Park (where nearby XR followers were idly disrupting the capital’s operation), Greta stated nothing is being done to stop an ecological crisis despite all the beautiful words and promises”, and “politicians and the people in power have gotten away with not doing anything.Well, look at that damning assertion of complete inaction on carbon reduction, and check it against facts on the ground.

The UK has the two largest offshore wind farms in the world. 9,702 turbines have been installed to date. The UK is the world’s 4th largest generator of wind based renewable power , with around 20 Gw capacity. In November 2018, renewable power in total exceeded that produced by fossil fuels for the first time, a total of 42 Gw., and which now accounts for 30% of total demand. (All of which comes at a cost to the poor consumer, BTW, through ‘green’ levies).

Read these statistics again; by what rational interpretation can this achievement be described as “nothing” ? Greta Thunberg is either clearly ignorant of the facts of the topic on which she pontificates, or she sets out to wilfully misrepresent the current position. Given the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) focus on ‘fake news’ and misleading data, young Ms Thunberg should be one of their primary targets for naming and shaming, which is how DCMS tends to spend its time.

Sadly, one side effect of this “child as a role model” trend is that it corrupts other children from having a balanced view of a subject which is undoubtedly going to have a hugely significant effect upon their lives. Look at the picture at the head this article and one sees two small children – who can have no real understanding of the issues – parroting this inaccurate propaganda; being used as newsworthy pawns for albeit a valid cause – which incidentally is now in danger of being hijacked by the far left and the ‘back to ox carts’ brigade.

Pointless rebellion

It’s hard to know where to start with Extinction Rebellion’s (XR) proposals for ultra rapid transition to net carbon zero in the UK by 2025. However, merely browsing the links and references on their web site eases the need to spend much time reviewing it because it is patently not feasible – at least not without martial law, societal upheaval and unrest not seen for centuries. There is not the space here to provide an assessment of the claims and proposals made in any detail, but a flavour of the concepts are presented here.

The first issue, watching people with too much time in their hands disrupting the very economic activity to pay for the countless billions of government borrowing to fund their dreams, is that it is simply utterly pointless. Unless and until the USA, China and India make the same sort of commitments, if the UK didn’t emit a gram of CO2 from now on, the needle wouldn’t move on the global heat-o-meter. If you want to make changes, then you have to start with the most significant causes – and that means getting a President of the USA who has declared Climate Change to be a ‘Chinese Hoax’ to have a conversion which would make St Paul’s look insignificant. The simple and unavoidable truth is that it cannot happen by 2025, period.

The second issue is that the numbers quoted by XR just don’t add up. The web site points to the document “One Million Climate Jobs” published by the Campaign for Climate Change, and endorsed by the usual suspect list of Unions. Climate Change for them is a gift from above to propose measures which, in the absence thereof, would be consigned to the ‘nutters’ end of the political spectrum, or had them locked up for insurrection. Most of the arguments are old and tired, but have been regurgitated after a wash and brush up. They include ideas such as (on taxing the ‘rich’) “If they paid 50% of their income in taxes we could raise £12 billion a year … We can think of it not as a punishment, but as an honour, and an opportunity for the privileged and affluent to help the planet. ” Of course, there are not enough ‘rich’ to raise the amounts required, and really they mean ‘middle class’. The problem is that the middle class have a vote (as Mrs Thatcher reminded us), and they may be reluctant to see as an honour guaranteeing £30k jobs to anyone made redundant by the green policies. The reader can get the general gist from the above, but it involves wealth taxes, robbing corporate (but not public sector) pensions, removal of saving incentives such as ISA’s, etc etc.

The third, and most unrealistic issue, is the time frame. The document mentioned in the prior paragraph acknowledges the size of the challenge, but at least gives a time frame of 20 years to effect (but which again doesn’t add up with the resources described). XR’s proposal implies (with a credibility testing 4 times rapidity) installing of the order of 150,000 new wind turbines, converting more than 30m homes from gas firing to electricity (at no cost to the home owner), insulating (including double glazing) up to 40m homes where needed, mammoth transportation infrastructure changes and so on – in 60 months. For comparison, it will have taken Crossrail almost 3 times as long to build). It omits to deal with the issue that electricity is 3-4 times more expensive than gas per KWH, and would still be so with the plan envisaged. Home bills would rocket, and the consequent social impact would be enormous.

16 year old Greta Thunberg, is fresh from lecturing Eurocrats and in particular British politicians on these goals. They (including, one hopes , Gove, who attended) will no doubt give it lip service to brighten their green credentials. But they know, and the Civil Servants behind them know, that it is a formula for hyperinflation, substantial, if not catastrophic, reduction in living standards, toxic for all but a portion of industry, and most of all, inherently dangerous to the stability and balance in civil society. It is a whimsical fantasy, and one which must be named for what it is, if our masters have the political courage.

Footnote 1 : To paraphrase Mrs Thatcher (“all hail Margaret”), such policies are fine “until other people’s money runs out”

Footnote 2: In December 2018, TfL reported that 140 tube drivers earned more than £80k per annum (some getting £100k), and the average pay was circa. £70k. Of course, they can retire at 60 on an inflation proofed, RPI (not CPI) linked, pension. The fact is that it’s no good taxing the few bankers that get £x million per year because there are not enough of them, and it’s likely the drivers would fall into the ambit of these plans. One has to wonder if the late Bob Crow would be honoured to see up to 50% of that go in tax.

Climate impotence

Grumpy should state outright that he is not a ‘climate change denier’ (although he is a ‘climate emergency’ – silly term – denier; see below). Nor would he feel in any way competent to question peer reviewed research on the topic undertaken at reputable establishments. However, he has cause to increasingly question the balance and veracity of public pronouncements on the issue, whether issued by the ‘climate emergency’ or ‘climate hoax’ end of the spectrum.

Further, there are initiatives and actions seeking to mitigate climate change which are well meaning, but fundamentally pointless, unless one subscribes to the edict of Mahatma Ghandhi that “whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” The comments in this section will also highlight the worst excesses of these public money wasting token vanity projects.

Their are many examples in this blog of misleading, hysterical or factual misrepresentations of climate change data, or about initiatives ranging from the well-meaning but pointless to the plain stupid, generally instantiated in the public sector by amateur politicians seeking to burnish their climate credentials.

Top of the list of misleading terms is ‘climate emergency’. The reason for the climate movement’s conflating the words ‘climate’ and ’emergency’ is that is has some much more emotional weight then the more neutral word, ‘change’. Along with ‘extinction’ it brings with it the image of global and imminent threat to human life itself , and hence gains more traction in the noise of media communications. However, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines ’emergency’ as “A serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action “; ‘unexpected’ is defined by OED as “Not expected or regarded as likely to happen “, and ‘immediate’ as “instant”.

But climate change is not unexpected, and the outcomes from any actions to address it cannot be in anyway correlated to whether those outcomes are delayed by 10 seconds or 10 minutes. So the word ’emergency’ is being used not to aid understanding or for precise communication, but to trigger emotive reactions. The expression is simply nonsense, by any objective analysis of the English language.

In addition, the climate lobby seems to now also embrace other ‘environmental’ issues; one current band wagon is about the use of plastics. In fact, their are inherent conflicts of the plastics campaign with the climate movement, in that (for example) one time plastic bags have a much lower overall CO2 equivalent impact that one time paper ones.