Dr. Matt Ridley on the Bolt Report on Haiyan and Carbon Tax

Ridley_on_bolt1

INTERVIEW WITH MATT RIDLEY
ANDREW BOLT, PRESENTER: Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines last week and killed perhaps 4,000 people. The Greens couldn’t wait to exploit it like they exploited last month’s fires, and even accused Tony Abbott.

ADAM BANDT: He can be expected to be referred to as ‘Typhoon Tony’. // Many people are saying this is the worst typhoon that they’ve ever seen. // This is what we’re in store for, unless we get global warming under control.

ANDREW BOLT: Matt Ridley is a member of Britain’s House of Lords and a science writer, whose latest bestseller is ‘The Rational Optimist’. He’s here on a speaking tour for the IPA. Matt Ridley, thank you for joining me.

MATT RIDLEY: Thank you for having me on the show.

ANDREW BOLT: The typhoon in the Philippines – what do you make of the attempts to make that evidence of the great global warming catastrophe awaiting us?

MATT RIDLEY: Well, this is ridiculous. I mean, storms and weather events happen. They’ve always happened. There’ve been much stronger typhoons in the past. This isn’t the strongest one that’s ever recorded or anything like that. They’re gonna happen, whatever. And to blame this on climate change is a bit like shamanism. It’s witchdoctory. It’s going back 10,000 years to try and blame every weather event on mankind. And we don’t have to just know this from basic data. If you look at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They say there’s been no trend in increasing frequency of typhoons or cyclones or hurricanes. In fact, this year’s been an unusually quiet one globally. And even in that part of the Pacific it’s been quiet. So the idea that you can stop typhoons happening by cutting carbon dioxide emissions is just absurd. We’ve got to tackle typhoons as an issue, whatever happens to the climate.

ANDREW BOLT: What do we have to worry about, if global warming continues? I know there’s been a pause in atmospheric temperature rises for 15 years. But should it continue, what have we got to fear?

MATT RIDLEY: Well, I personally think that we are seeing benefits from climate change. Sorry – that’s not my personal view, that’s what the data says. We’re seeing benefits from climate change at the moment – slightly greener vegetation in the world, slightly fewer winter deaths, things like that – longer growing seasons. And that’s likely to continue for another six or seven decades. After that, if the projections of climate change are right – and on the whole, they have been too warm for the last 30 years, so they may not be right – but if they’re right, we will then start to see net harm. And the one harm that will would hurt civilisation would be rapidly rising sea levels. Fortunately, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that sea levels are not rising – are not gonna rise that fast in this century – not much faster than
they did in the last century. Greenland’s losing ice at the rate of 2 billion tonnes a year, which sounds a lot, but it’s actually 0.5% per century. So the collapse of ice sheets, that sort of thing, has now largely been ruled out by the IPCC as a risk. But we are – you know, we do have to get our act together to be ready to deal with some disasters, if they happen towards the end of this century, the beginning of the next.

ANDREW BOLT: Well, when you say “get our act together to be ready”, where – obviously the world is spending trillions of dollars on various ways to so-called stop global warming. Is that a sensible use of our resources?

MATT RIDLEY: No. I think rolling out immature and 14th-century technologies like wind power all around the world – which are extremely expensive, don’t cut carbon emissions very much, and on the whole keep people unable to afford the measures to adapt to climate, by being so expensive – is not the answer. Japan, interestingly, has just said that it’s not going to try to keep emissions as low as it was hoping by 2020. Instead, it’s going to put a lot of money into research into new energy technologies. And that’s the answer. If we can get cheap fusion energy, or cheap thorium nuclear power, or even cheap ordinary nuclear power, and some of the solar power developed, then by the end of the century we probably won’t need fossil fuels, and we can give them up, long before they run out. That’s a much better approach than trying to roll out immature energy technologies now. Because we’ve tried that, and it’s just not working. We’re trying it all over the world, it’s disastrously bad for people’s living standards.

ANDREW BOLT: So when Tony Abbott gets elected on a platform of scrapping the carbon tax, is that seen, as the Greens would suggest, as a worldwide embarrassment? Or is it seen as something perhaps – well, the return of reason?

MATT RIDLEY: Well I think until now, it’s been assumed that you had to pay lip-service to dangerous climate change. I mean, most of us – I believe that human beings do affect the climate, and probably have caused some of the warming in the past. That’s not at issue. What’s at issue is a forecast of dangerous warning, which is only going to come true if certain positive feedback amplifiers happen. And if that’s likely to be the case, it’s always been assumed that you had to show real alarm about this in order to get elected in a western democracy. I think Tony Abbott has shown that’s not the case, and a lot of elected politicians around the world will have noticed that, and will have noticed that not only was the carbon tax something that he was determined to repeal, but that it was front and centre in the election campaign, so you can’t say it was just a peripheral issue. So for example, the Canadians have commented on that. And I think western European politicians will notice that, and will say, actually, you can take a relatively rational, relatively sober approach to climate change and be elected, despite what the extreme Greens will throw at you.

ANDREW BOLT: And is there any other government, then, that will be the next to follow us, do you think?

MATT RIDLEY: I’m not the one to predict political trends. I don’t think it’s going to happen in a hurry in Europe – sorry, in Britain. But there is huge disquiet in the UK about energy prices, and they’re about to go up even more, because of green levies, and that I think is beginning to make politicians rethink this agenda.

ANDREW BOLT: Thank you very much, Matt Ridley, for joining us.

Video here:http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_bolt_report_today37/

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61 thoughts on “Dr. Matt Ridley on the Bolt Report on Haiyan and Carbon Tax

  1. IMHO, Dr Ridley was a bit too soft and concilliatory – a bit too lukewarm? It’s ok to try and get your point across by appearing calm and reasoned but the fact of the matter is that all the money spent on carbon reductions schemes have been a massive waste of time and effort as well as cash.
    I for one do not believe in the ‘AGW is significant’ meme – but the pragmatic view (and incorporating the oft warmist favourite – the Precautionary Principle) the best way to stop carbon emission is to invest in renewables and nuclear ‘properly’. Put it another way, a hundred billion bucks into development of non-carbon energy would have gone an awful long way into helping – instead of producing a sh$tload of useless models, adjusted data and feeding many thousands of pig-troughing ‘climate scientists’……..

  2. Those of us who believe based on the evidence that Sustainability is merely an update of the old Marxian need for a crisis to justify the desired structural and institutional changes will keep watching and listening for the next calamity. I spent part of the weekend reading the beginnings of the ecological Marxism theories in the 70s (as its creators called it) and their justifications that more than an economic crisis would be needed.

    IPCC is holding true to the social theories regardless of the facts. Matt is a rational optimist because he believes in innovation. We need to get back to societies that foster genuine innovation of the type he describes in his book instead of sociological innovations in how we are to organize ourselves in the future. Most of us can organize ourselves far better than any bureaucrat or theorist or politician

  3. A few years back Warmists used to tell us that the weather is not the climate. Now that nature is defying them they insist see the weather as climate change. Climate is accepted by the IPCC and the WMO as 30 years or more of weather data. Warmists have started using rolling dice instead of peer reviewed papers. Their alleged ‘science’ should be called Climastrology. This kind of nonsense leads to witch burnings.

    Abstract
    Bohringer – pp 335-351 – 1999
    Climatic Change and Witch-Hunting: The Impact of the Little Ice Age on Mentalities
    …During the late 14th and 15th centuries the traditional conception of witchcraft was transformed into the idea of a great conspiracy of witches, to explain “unnatural” climatic phenomena……Scapegoat reactions may be observed by the early 1560s…..extended witch-hunts took place at the various peaks of the Little Ice Age because a part of society held the witches directly responsibile for the high frequency of climatic anomalies and the impacts thereof……
    doi:10.1007/978-94-015-9259-8_13

    Abstract
    Christian Pfister et. al. – 1999
    Climatic Variability in Sixteenth-Century Europe and its Social Dimension: A Synthesis
    …Peasant communities which were suffering large collective damage from the effects of climatic change pressed authorities for the organization of witch-hunts. Seemingly most witches were burnt as scapegoats of climatic change.
    doi:10.1023/A:1005585931899

    Abstract
    Christian Pfister – 2012
    Climatic Extremes, Recurrent Crises and Witch Hunts
    Strategies of European Societies in Coping with Exogenous Shocks in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries
    Finally, by confirming the thesis advanced by Wolfgang Behringer relating extensive witch hunts during that period to climatic change and recurrent subsistence crises, this article makes a plea for bridging the gap separating studies of climate from those of culture.
    doi: 10.1177/097194580701000202

    Climatic Variability in Sixteenth-Century Europe and Its Social Dimension
    Pfister, Christian; Brázdil, Rudolf; Glaser, Rüdiger (Eds.)
    Book – 1999, VI, 351 p.
    …Moreover, the impact of climate change on grain prices and wine production is assessed. Finally, it is convincingly argued that witches at that time were burnt as scapegoats for climatic change.

    http://tinyurl.com/lrjczsb

  4. Isn’t it about time to stop riding the hurricane? Contributors here seem obsessed by the hurricane itself (given the number of posts about it), people all around the world are engaged to supply relief to the people struck by it.

    More on topic: Some counterpoints to Ridleys viewpoint:

    [snip - we don't reference those blogs since they are written by anonymous jerks. You are welcome to substitute credible links -mod]

    I am not sure about Matt, he is obviously a clever guy (though sometimes mistaken as his banking adventure has shown). But statements like this:

    “No. I think rolling out immature and 14th-century technologies like wind power all around the world – which are extremely expensive, don’t cut carbon emissions very much, and on the whole keep people unable to afford the measures to adapt to climate, by being so expensive – is not the answer.”

    It is simply windy opinion, in the 16th and 17th century wind power made the Netherlands to what it was, a dry place where once the sea was. Expensive? Not at all, it brought great benefits. The technology has developed and nowadays calling it immature and 14th century is totally missing the mark.

    Wind power is not extremely expensive, does cut carbon emissions as much as it replaces fossil fuels, and on the whole keeps people empowered to decide on the measures to adapt to their local climate, by being quite inexpensive – and with other measures like solar energy may be the right answer (other right answers may also apply).

  5. “And to blame this on climate change is a bit like shamanism. It’s witchdoctory.”

    Welcome to the party pal ! (h/t to Bruce Willis in Diehard)

  6. “David Riser says:
    November 18, 2013 at 4:41 pm
    Reason is what we need, its the hype that causes problems on both sides of the fence”.

    What fence are you talking about?

  7. had to wade through five pages of results on a “carbon price” search to find this current, EXTREMELY INFORMATIVE Financial Times article, yet MSM shilling for a carbon trading market was all there on the first page of results, some dating back as far as 11 Nov:

    18 Nov: UK Financial Times: London banks quit carbon trading
    At least 10 London banks have scaled back or closed their carbon trading desks amid turmoil in the European emissions trading scheme.
    The fledgling market was once seen as a promising growth area, with the City of London Corporation predicting in 2006 that London would become the leading provider of services to the “mushrooming” sector.
    But the number of City workers employed on carbon desks has fallen by 70 per cent in the past four years, according to Anthony Hobley, president of the Climate Markets & Investors Association…
    The workforce had fallen from close to a thousand to just a couple of hundred, Mr Hobley estimated, as carbon prices have plummeted…
    Barclays has sold its carbon trading business, Deutsche Bank has closed its global carbon trading operations and UBS has closed its climate change advisory practice, according to the report.
    It says that JPMorgan has scaled back its environmental markets team and Morgan Stanley has reduced its carbon desk from full-time to part-time…
    Other banks reducing their London operations include EcoSecurities, Camco Clean Energy, Nedbank, Sindacatum and TFS Green, the report adds…
    “Our gas and power team keep an eye on the [ETS] market, in case a client needs to transact, but as a stand alone business it is basically over,” said an executive who oversees European energy trading at one large bank.

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/cbb749ba-506b-11e3-9f0d-00144feabdc0.html

    this is what makes or breaks the CAGW meme.

  8. this, on the other hand, was easy to find!

    18 Nov: Bloomberg: Oil’s Future Draws Blood and Gore in Investment Portfolios
    By Tom Randall with assistance from Eric Roston in New York
    Gore has been fighting climate change since he co-sponsored the first congressional hearings on the subject in 1976. While his essential aim hasn’t changed, his tactics and rhetoric have. Flush with cash after making $70 million in the sale of the Current TV network, Gore is buddying up to investors, working to change their minds about billion-dollar climate risks lurking in their portfolios. Gore, snubbing trees, is now a hugger of Wall Street.
    “We’re already seeing the impact on some carbon intensive assets — we’ve seen it in Australia, we’ve seen it in Canada, we’ve seen it in the U.S.,” Gore said by phone from London on Oct. 29, a day he spent promoting a new report as chairman of Generation Asset Management, the investment firm he co-founded with David Blood. “The time has come to question how people avoid the risk.”…
    ***Whenever the company (Royal Dutch Shell) evaluates a new project, it bakes in $40 a ton for the future cost of carbon emissions, Destin Singleton, a spokeswoman for Shell, wrote in an e-mail…
    Not everyone says fossil fuels are in trouble…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-18/oil-s-future-draws-blood-and-gore-in-investment-portfolios.html

  9. jb frodsham says:
    November 18, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Reason TV: Re Matt Ridley. He said Charles Keeling measured CO2 in the atmosphere for the first time 20 years ago. Hmm was that not in 1958?
    =========================================================================
    Thank God we have Al Gore to set us straight on the million degree core temperature of the Earth.

    Source for your assertion?

  10. But there is huge disquiet in the UK about energy prices, and they’re about to go up even more, because of green levies, and that I think is beginning to make politicians rethink this agenda.

    The problem with socialists is that eventually you run out of OPM. Eventually when the alarmists have jacked up taxes and energy prices so much, people will push back. But not until.

  11. It’s so refreshing to hear the voice of reason in the vast wilderness of CAGW ignorance and propaganda.

    It was also wonderful to hear a politician even mention thorium reactors, as the vast majority of them are clueless to the likelihood that we’ll be moving from a fossil-fuel based economy to a thorium-based economy within the next 30 years, which will make this entire CAGW scam moot.

    I’ve contacted many US Senators and Congressmen about the importance of LFTRs and only Senator Rand Paul was savvy enough to quickly grasp the importance of thorium reactors and sent me a personal letter promising his staff will work on legislation to fast-track the necessary rules, regulations and safety standards required for LFTR development in the US.

    Hopefully Senator Paul will follow through on that promise.

  12. note it’s a slowdown in growth of emissions, not clear in the headline:

    19 Nov: NYT: Justin Gillis/David Jolly: Slowdown in Carbon Emissions Worldwide, but Coal Burning Continues to Grow
    Scientists compiling the numbers said it was unclear whether the slowdown in the growth of emissions might represent the beginnings of a permanent shift…
    The new figures were released late Monday by the Global Carbon Project, which tracks emissions…
    Yet on a global scale, the continuing expansion of coal, the dirtiest form of fossil energy and the one associated with the highest emissions of greenhouse gases, is far outstripping the growth of renewables and other low-carbon sources of power.
    “Coal is king, still,” said Glen P. Peters, a researcher at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo and a leader of the group that produced the new analysis…
    In a speech on Monday in Warsaw, the United Nations’ top officer on climate change warned coal industry executives that much of the world’s coal will need to be left in the ground if international climate goals are to be met.
    Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, told industry leaders at the World Coal Summit…
    “Let me be clear from the outset that my joining you today is neither a tacit approval of coal use, nor is it a call for the immediate disappearance of coal,” Ms. Figueres said. “But I am here to say that coal must change rapidly and dramatically for everyone’s sake.” …
    *** Godfrey G. Gomwe, chairman of the World Coal Association’s energy and climate committee, responded in a speech that, with “1.3 billion people in the world who live without access to electricity,” the questions of climate change and poverty reduction could not be separated.
    “A life lived without access to modern energy is a life lived in poverty,” said Mr. Gomwe, who is also chief executive of the mining company Anglo American’s thermal coal business. “As much as some may wish it, coal is not going away.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/19/science/slowdown-in-carbon-emissions-worldwide-but-coal-burning-continues-to-grow.html?_r=0

  13. “Tsk Tsk”: Lol yes of course Al Gore. The million degree thing. Gore is a crook!

    Actually I really like Matt Ridley. Loved his book “The Rational Optimist” And his blog too. I just pointed out an error. “Charles Keeling began collecting data at Mauna Loa in 1958, the concentration had risen to about 315 parts per million” Source: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/12/nsf-says-biosphere-is-breathing-in-co2-more-deeply/

    No big deal really, but it is the sort of thing that alarmists will harp on and on about. You know; do and say 1000 things right and no one says anything but get one wrong and they zero in on it. I am sorry if I might have come across as a warmist for pointing out an error. But I am not a warmist, but a realist as most of the readers here at WUWT really are.

  14. There is a direct parallel to the climate change public policy question and the current state of “Obamacare”. Most voters don’t know how the health care system works and have no CLUE nor care about how the grid operates…just that it does so 99.9% of the time.

    I have been trying to excite people about the consequence of taxing fossil fueled electricity and conclude it’s too abstract. People continue to believe that adding the next increment of wind and solar is a noble thing.

    I hate to admit it, but we may have to let the monthly electric bill go up $40-50 to get a reaction. Hopefully, it’s not too late for the coal industry.

  15. Kev-in-Uk says:
    November 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    IMHO, Dr Ridley was a bit too soft and concilliatory – a bit too lukewarm? It’s ok to try and get your point across by appearing calm and reasoned but the fact of the matter is that all the money spent on carbon reductions schemes have been a massive waste of time and effort as well as cash….
    ———————————————————-
    I’m pretty sure there was no cash involved.
    We got an excellent low interest only loan to cover it.
    We’ll be paying for it for a long time.
    cn

  16. Sisi says:
    November 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    It is simply windy opinion, in the 16th and 17th century wind power made the Netherlands to what it was, a dry place where once the sea was. Expensive? Not at all, it brought great benefits. The technology has developed and nowadays calling it immature and 14th century is totally missing the mark.

    Wind power is not extremely expensive, does cut carbon emissions as much as it replaces fossil fuels, and on the whole keeps people empowered to decide on the measures to adapt to their local climate, by being quite inexpensive – and with other measures like solar energy may be the right answer (other right answers may also apply).

    Not really.
    First and foremost: its unreliable. After the industrial revolution these windmills were decommissioned one by one for more reliable technology. And that brought the benefits.
    Most of the land recovered from the sea was in 1900’s. And they did not use wind power.

    It also does not cut CO2 emissions, because fast acting power stations with lower efficiency must be on standby; and the net result is that CO2 emissions are greater.

    Wind power is expensive and has raised energy prices in the last decade by energy taxes (doubling the price per kWh). Real estate values are also dropping when wind mills are build nearby.
    Weather dependent power sources can not be the answer for an economy which requires reliable power 24/7.

  17. R. de Haan says:
    November 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I know you didn’t intend it the way it reads, but that second sentence is hilarious. It’s fun to think who that person might be.

  18. jb frodsham says:
    November 18, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Reason TV: Re Matt Ridley. He said Charles Keeling measured CO2 in the atmosphere for the first time 20 years ago. Hmm was that not in 1958?

    ———————-

    No, you misquoted me. What I said on Reason TV was that 20 years ago Charles Keeling noticed and first measured the increasing amplitude of the annual variation in CO2 levels in his famous curve. I did not say he began measuring CO2 levels twenty years ago. I said “a man named [Charles] Keeling, who discovered the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere…he noticed something about twenty years ago, which was that the amplitude of change of carbon dioxide was increasing”

    I can see how you could misread what I said on that occasion, but I was well aware of Keeling’s graph going back to the 1950s and it’s important not to give a false impression of what I actually said.

  19. As John says, you are wrong Sisi. Nonetheless, thank you for trying. And, btw, you can link to anonymous blogs if you want (others do) but they need to be agreeable.

  20. MATT RIDLEY: “I’m not the one to predict political trends. I don’t think it’s going to happen in a hurry in Europe – sorry, in Britain. But there is huge disquiet in the UK about energy prices, and they’re about to go up even more, because of green levies, and that I think is beginning to make politicians rethink this agenda.”

    And they are going to double again when Cameron’s new nuclear facilities come on line because he has just guaranteed EDF an index linked “strike price” that is twice the current wholesale electricity price.

    So much for Matt’s criticism of expensive renewables and the dream of cheap nuclear power.

    Matt would also do well to avoid stupid comments like calling wind turbine generators “14th century technology”. We hadn’t even discovered electricity and were still buring oil and wax for light for most of the 19th.

    He’d be more accurate to ridicule the nuclear industry which has nothing better to offer than essentially 1950’s based designs. completely uneconomic and still reliant on goverment subsidies in one form or another.

  21. Matt Ridley: “No, you misquoted me.” “I can see how you could misread what I said on that occasion”

    JF: Yes Matt you are right as you said, fully: “About 20 years ago a man named Charles Keeling who discovered the increase in Co2 in the atmosphere – at least he measured the increase of Co2 in the atmosphere for the first time – he noticed something about 20 years ago that the amplitude of change of the Co2 graph was increasing. ”

    The key here is : “he noticed something about 20 years ago” I had to go back and listen carefully. That is good, because as you well know the alarmists will jump on “Anything” that you say MIGHT be incorrect.

    BTW I really admire you. I have always wanted to attend one of your talks. I read your blog often, I love it. Your: “When political tyranny allows economic freedom” was spot on. I know this as I am in Viet Nam, and yes I have more freedom here than in my native Australia.

    Keep up the fantastic job Matt. It is people like you, Anthony and all the other fabulous realists who inhabit WUWT that strive to make the world a better place. :-)’

  22. If wind power worked it wouldn’t need renewable obligations and feed in tariffs to support it. Entrepreneurs would recognise that wind turbines would be profitable and spend their own money without needing such support. There will be more winter deaths this year because renewables have made electricity more expensive than it should be.

  23. Dr Matt Ridley suffers from a chronic ailment requiring frequent visits to A&E for the application of various creams and ointments to his rear end because he spends so much of his time sitting on fences and he like a vast majority of commenters who foresee a future that can exist without fossil fuel appear to forget the process involved say in the manufacture of a fusion fuelled generator. Ridley forgets that first you have to find the raw materials, prospecting, then you need to extract those materials, then sufficiently refine those materials before they can be shipped to a site somewhere across the planet where they can be further refined and manufactured into components suitable for the construction of say a fusion plant. A typical ore/oil carrier consumes thousands of gallons of bunker oil every day and a 30/40 ton excavator consumes hundreds of gallons of diesel presumably Ridley thinks you could if needed connect a long lead to a wind turbine to power the process of prospecting, mining and refining in areas of the planet hostile to human intervention. Has Ridley ever been inside an experimental fusion research facility and see just how many refined hi tech components are needed just to try and find out if the technology can ever work. Presumably Ridley also believes you can just attach long leads to 500,000 ton bulk ore/oil carriers to see them across the Atlantic what absolute buffoonery it is to suggest that we can ever have a world without fossil fuels. This is the same placatory buffoonery I get from the Missus when my arthritis gets really painful saying that it worse when it rains, no it is its worse when I stand up because of the physical and vertical load on my spine. Unless someone can develop a source of fuel that replaces and redefines the mobility of fossil fuel for powering the finding and extraction of increasingly rare and finite raw materials then all bets are off insofar as how the future of 7 billion people on this planet is defined. Right now it is very much of a case that once fossil fuels specifically oil ceases to exist then the game is up. We recently visited Abu Dhabi to see the F1 and they are trying to attract tourism to replace oil and gas once it becomes extinct with Etihad buying huge numbers of new aircraft to keep the tourists coming seemingly forgetful of the fact that once oil becomes extinct then their diversification becomes extinct. The only raw materials we have are what exists they are finite yet the EU and the UN and all of the extremist environmentalists remain under the illusion that we really do have choices. At the first climate conference in Bali MP Hiliary Benn said “The most important fact is that we only have one planet but at the current rate of extraction and use of raw materials we need three” that is the most honest statement he has made and since then someone has told him to keep his trap shut. Maybe fusion might work but fusion or nuclear does not remove the simple truth that without oil we can move from one place to another we certainly would have no means of moving from one country to another or within countries to get the raw materials we need, fusion is not the issue, we already know that we could never grow enough plant material to replace oil for transport and battery electric can never move 42 ton trucks let alone ore/oil carriers or aircraft or container ships so forget manufacturing anything. Its time to focus on the real issue how do we replace oil? My feeling is we cannot just hoping that someone somewhere will find out how is a risk orders of magnitude greater than concern about Co2, deluded and delusional, we are.

  24. Andrew Bolt is a breath of fresh air in Australia he is on 2GB Sydney on week nights around 8 pm Sydney time check with 2GB web site when he is on. he is hated buy his peers because he tells the truth and is not controlled buy anybody including the Government ,ABC, and the media so please tune in

  25. I had never before thought about the comments made by Jimbo here.

    It truly is a delicious irony that the Establishment of the 15th and 16th centuries were all for burning supposed witches for causing climate change, and now in the ‘more enlightened’ 21st century the Establishment (Hansen, Mann, etc) are all for executing sceptics for refusing to accept the false gods of extreme man made climate change and CAGW.

    We truly still live in a very superstitious world.

  26. Tango you are right on the money. Andrew comes on with Steve Price (on 2GB) at 8PM EST or EDST depending on the time of the year. He just says it like it is, really refreshing. He’s a conservative but is still prepared to have a crack at the conservatives if he thinks they are out of line.

  27. David Wells: Dr Matt Ridley suffers from…..etc, and “The most important fact is that we only have one planet but at the current rate of extraction and use of raw materials we need three” “that is the most honest statement”…… “without oil we can move from one place to another we certainly would have no means of moving from one country to another or within countries to get the raw materials we need.”

    JF: What on earth have you been reading? We have at least at this time enough fossil fuels: Coal, tar sands, oil and gas for at least 500 years and we keep finding more. Every time so called experts make predictions how much we have left; more is found. But forget all that as we will never run out, as technology will solve the problem for us. In 500 years there will still be vast quantities on fossil fuels left in the ground, as it will just be too expensive to get it out. Nobody has any idea exactly what our power sources will be in say even 100 years from now, and anyone who does is just guessing as it could be something that has not even been thought of yet. Why is it that so many people just think as fossil fuels as just a power source. Just or even more important are the myriad of other uses: http://www.ranken-energy.com/Products%20from%20Petroleum.htm 6000 here for starters.

    According to http://www.energyrealities.org the USA has 11.8 years of oil left. And the UK 5.8 years. Really? Lol. And get this Vietnam has 3 years of coal left. Lol,

    You sound like an alarmist. Please try reading non alarmist material. Start by reading this: http://www.amazon.com/Rational-Optimist-P-S-Matt-Ridley-ebook/dp/B003QP4BJM/ref=la_B000AQ6M5Q_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384863090&sr=1-1

  28. “jb frodsham says:

    November 19, 2013 at 4:15 am”

    It’s worce than that. Australia alone has ~500 years of known reserves at current extraction rates. Globally? Who really knows. Given China is embarking on a significant coal-to-liquid program, I’d suggest they are not too worried about their, no-longer 1 child policy, future. In fact, they are counting on an expanding population!

  29. Jb frodsham;

    “JF: What on earth have you been reading? We have at least at this time enough fossil fuels: Coal, tar sands, oil and gas for at least 500 years and we keep finding more.”

    Well, yes, we do keep finding more, and we probably will continue to do so. However, I wish you weren’t so sanguine about it. When you take into account EROEI (energy returned over energy invested), you see a clear trend.

    A century ago, when oils was almost gushing out of the ground, EROEI was around 100:1. Today, with the reliance on deep see rigs, I believe it is below 20:1. All these rig constructions and drilling techniques requires energy you see.

    But when you look at shale oil, you are seeing ratios much less than 10:1. At the moment, the average is lifted by contributions from the old, giant oil fields. But as they play out, the average will drop – actually is dropping.

    What does all this mean? This is more difficult to answer. But, if civilization has to redirect say a fifth of the global economy into fossil fuel extraction (as an EROEI of 4:1 would imply), there would be a lot less to go round for normal day to day consumption. Think USSR, which bankrupted itself for channelling that much into the military.

    Well, I’m not an economist, but this was all spelled out in a recent Tullet Prebon report called “Perfect storm – energy, finance and the end of growth”. It is available online if you google it. Makes an interesting read.

  30. @Climategrog

    Look, once & for all. Fukushima Nuclear plant didn’t fail despite you vulgar play on words! It survived the aftershocks of a sea-born Earth quake many miles out to see. It survived an ensuing tsunami. The only thing that failed, & I grant you it was an oversite by the designers, was that the low-level back-up generators got flooded out, causing the cooling failure to occur! There were no nuclear explosions or anything like that occurred! What exploded was dis-associated water & steam, when you mix (in steam’s case, separate it) hydrogen & oxygen together you have a fuel & an element to feed it, all it needed was a source of ignition! I believe that little harm will occur in the long-term to public health. The authorities & indeed the parent company reacted well to the situation, but there will always be someone who will claim a responsible body didn’t act fast enough, it goes with the territory!

  31. “Alan the Brit says:

    November 19, 2013 at 4:52 am”

    Fukushima is nothing on the environmental contamination scale, won’t ever register other than on the “scare-o-ometer” in the MSM. Japan’s worst human caused environmental disasters, aside from Hirosima and Nagasaki in WW2, was mercury pollution (Real pollution) at Minamata (Akin to “Devonshire Colic” which was, fundamentally, lead poisoning).

  32. Any policy, and I mean ANY policy pursued with the goal of decreasing CO2 emissions is patently stupid. CO2 is plant food and we need all we can get. It is greening the planet and extending our growing season, despite no warming, as it makes plants more tolerant of temperature and thus able to sprout earlier in the Spring. And, as we are not warming, what in heck is the point of targeting a gas that our food supply needs? It’s a stupid goal that needs to be dropped for the good of mankind.

    No gas at any concentration in the atmosphere can warm the climate. Greenhouses gases simply do not exist. If CO2 and water vapor behave as they claim, then these gases serve to cool the atmosphere because climate models do not have night time. These gases would do nothing but radiate long wave radiation (LWR) outward during the night and have little effect during the day, being saturated during the day with in and out going LWR.

    We also have carbon-based fuels as a renewable resource. Coal is the only real fossil fuel and there is hordes of that. Natural gas and oil are from the planet’s core and renewable, being under virtually the entire Earth’s surface, anywhere we drill down deep enough. The UK alone has located quadrillions of cubic feet of natural gas under their lands.

  33. David Wells – this is the first time I have heard someone try to talk sense to the (irrational) optimsts! Of course they can’t listen – because they are not interested in rational analysis, unless it supports their optimism! They are like mirror images of the very AGWarmists they criticise. They don’t read the analyses on Fusion Reactor resource needs (like Niobium metals that would require mining half of Australia’s beach sands!). I have yet to see a fully worked mining-to-waste stream and decommissioning of thorium power that convinced me it was sustainable. There have been no breakthroughs in CHEAP energy sourcing in the last few decades…..fracked gas won’t last more than a couple of decades….the crunch time is 2030. And despite the optimism, the evidence points to oil running so low by then the price will already have crippled the global economy. Yes, there is 500 years of coal…..but for whom? China only. And China already imports over 40% of world exports.

    Get real, Matt! Rational Optimism may sell well among the capitalist deniers, but a dose of Realism would do humanity a lot more good. The reality is that there is NO solution to the crisis of capital….and THAT is what all this energy is used for – to avoid the end of capitalism. Read some critical development studies and look at just how little of western wealth gets spent on what the ‘poor’ really need….clean water, ecologically sound agriculture and stable soil, intact community, forests and biodiversity….whereon less than 5% of international development aid gets spent. The rest goes on ‘economic’ development – for which, read, industrial agriculture, land grabs, mining, roads, ports, and favellas hopelessly filled with ‘economic’ migrants. Your ‘solutions’ apply only to the hegemony of the North – from the USA across Europe, to China and Japan. Eventually, they will require Chinese style political and economic structures to maintain them. The writing is on the wall in my home county of Somerset – the first UK nuclear station in 20years is to be built with Chinese money and French state-controlled expertise.

    Its a very useful mental exercise to simply tell yourelf ‘there is no solution’…..with regard to powering the current system. That way you get to consider the option of changing it and a revolutionary journey begins!

  34. If UKIP win the 2014 european elections, you may see a party with a fairly ‘rational’ climate change/energy policy coming centre stage in the 2015 general election in the UK.

  35. “Peter Taylor says:

    November 19, 2013 at 5:08 am”

    Where would your world be without capitalism and fossil fuels?

  36. “I believe that human beings do affect the climate, and probably have caused some of the warming in the past. That’s not at issue.”

    Actually, it is. It’s a belief, and as such, unscientific. Saying that we “affect the climate” is completely meaningless. In what way? There is also no real evidence that we have actually caused any warming. The truth is that any slight warming we may have caused is too small to be of any consequence whatsoever. The important truth is that our additional CO2 has been and will continue to be responsible for much of the greening of the planet.

  37. The section about Haiyan is a case study in missing the point and straw man generation – maybe we could burn the straw to generate power? The effects of global warming on tropical storms is uncertain. Overall, the climate science prediction is that the strength of the strongest tropical storms will increase, not that the frequency will increase. Haiyan is consistent with this.
    “So the idea that you can stop typhoons happening by cutting carbon dioxide emissions is just absurd”. Well, yes. So is the idea that you can turn lead into gold by blowing on it. Since nobody suggested either, it is rather besides the point.

  38. Peter Taylor,

    While I think you have made some good points in your first paragraph, I am afraid your second paragraph has lost me.

    What do you mean by “crisis of capitalism”? If you explain this single point, the rest of your post might make sense.

  39. the evidence points to oil running so low by then the price will already have crippled the global economy. Yes, there is 500 years of coal . . .

    But coal can be converted to either gasoline or natural gas (as China is building plants to do).

  40. Well done except for the part about renewable energy. There are competitive leaders within solar PV that need to be allowed for in arm wave dismissing alternative energy. It’s quite true that solar PV has been tainted by high cost variants, high-cost players, crude industry averages, and wrong way government bets on it, but it is also possible to get educated on the subject of the cost leaders and what they have to offer NOW and in the short term. The quarterly financial reports and analyst briefings from these sector leaders demonstrate quite well the benefits and near-term potential for rapid cost declines and rates of technical change. It is a mistake for policy advisers and planners to be ignorant of these tech plays and business plan leaders. Such ignorance also keeps public policy well behind the smart money placements for new investment and reduces efficiency of information flow to roundabout signals from these third parties back around to policy leaders. It would be a more efficient information and policy planning system if planners and advisers were closer to the pulse of what the smart money is watching in tech plays and investment ramp up by these sector leaders.

  41. November 19, 2013 at 5:24 am Peter Taylor says …

    Pat says November 19, 2013 at 5:08 am:

    Where would your world be without capitalism and fossil fuels?

    Members of the ‘ruling class’ (i.e. ruling elite) have no problem with the state of society as a whole … those at the top rarely suffer as long as the ‘force’ of government can be harnessed in the form of MWG (men w/guns) to confiscate that which is called ‘taxes’.

    .

  42. higley7 says November 19, 2013 at 5:06 am

    These gases would do nothing but radiate long wave radiation (LWR) outward during the night …

    It would seem these ‘gasses’ did not get your memo or heed the desired direction-of-traffic signs.

    Maybe you can expound on this purported uni-directionality (“uni” as in single or “one”) of radiation thing? Cites, quoted text, or at least an author?

    .

  43. Peter Taylor says:
    November 19, 2013 at 5:08 am
    Read some critical development studies and look at just how little of western wealth gets spent on what the ‘poor’ really need….clean water, ecologically sound agriculture and stable soil, intact community, forests and biodiversity….whereon less than 5% of international development aid gets spent………

    Get real, Pete!
    Rational realism has determined that much less than 50% of the money spent on international development gets spent on ANYTHING but increased government spending on graft, cronyism, boondoggles, and military hardware to fight their unending conflicts.

  44. jb frodsham “I know this as I am in Viet Nam, and yes I have more freedom here than in my native Australia. ”
    Exactly what freedoms are you enjoying in Vietnam that you can’t enjoy in Australia? Here is a test for you. I will go and stand in front of Government house with a sign saying Tony Abbott is a criminal. You go and stand before the Central Committee building in Hanoi with a sign saying The “Polituro are criminals”. Let’s see who enjoys the most freedom. Another example is that although there is “freedom of religion” in Vietnam all clerical appointments are ultimately made by the Central Committee.

    Please, let’s not make silly comparisons between free countries and communist states.

  45. Witches are so called on account of the blackness of their guilt, that is to say, their deeds are more evil than those of any other malefactors. They stir up and confound the elements by the aid of the devil, and arouse terrible hailstorms and tempests.
    Malleus Maleficarum, 1486

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/mm/

    Carbon “pollution” is so-called on account of the blackness of its guilt; that is to say, its deeds are more evil than those of any other malefactors. It stirs up and confounds the elements by the aid of its “forcing” field, arousing terrible blizzards, cyclones, droughts, floods, hailstorms, heat-waves, hurricanes, and typhoons.

    “Fossil fuels” are so-called on account of their abundance on inhabitable rocks like Titan and Comet Haley. Although microbes on Earth have for billions of years been consuming more “fossil fuels” than humans currently do, only human consumption of the stuff really matters because…”you can’t tax a marine organism.“. That’s what a member of Adam Bandt’s staff told me last year.

  46. Resourceguy says November 19, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Well done except for the part about renewable energy. There are competitive leaders within solar PV that need to be allowed for in arm wave dismissing alternative energy. It’s quite true that solar PV has been tainted by high cost variants, high-cost players, crude industry averages, and wrong way government bets on it, but it is also possible to get educated on the subject of the cost leaders and what they have to offer NOW and in the short term. The quarterly financial reports and analyst briefings from these sector leaders demonstrate quite well the benefits and near-term potential for rapid cost declines and rates of technical change. It is a mistake for policy advisers and planners to be ignorant of these tech plays and business plan leaders.

    There is that pesky and persistent “the sun don’t [sic -_Jim] shine at night” thing … or has that been solved? Or is it on a fast-track in the development cycle?

    .

  47. Peter Taylor says November 19, 2013 at 5:08 am

    David Wells – this is the first time I have heard someone try to talk sense to the (irrational) optimsts! [sic] Of course they can’t listen – because they are …

    As if – we haven’t heard the pessimists predict gloom time and time again, and we have YET to see any of their multitudinous predictions come to bear fruit.

    Peter Taylor, you could help your case to bear some ‘weight’ by citing a case in history where the doomsayers were, um, actually ‘right’ in their gloomy predictions resulting from the practice of their pessimism …

    .

  48. Peter Taylor says: “Your ‘solutions’ apply only to the hegemony of the North – from the USA across Europe, to China and Japan. Eventually, they will require Chinese style political and economic structures to maintain them. The writing is on the wall in my home county of Somerset – the first UK nuclear station in 20years is to be built with Chinese money and French state-controlled expertise.”

    That nuclear plant being built by the Chinese in the UK has been commissioned at a guaranteed “strike price” of double the price of current power rates. Nigel Farage remarks on the “bizarre assumption that energy prices will rise in the next few years,” and counters that shale gas has the potential to reduce energy prices by 50% in the UK.

    Discussion of energy policy in first 5 minutes. Comment on Chinese nuclear plant at 5 min. Second commercial break ends at 16 min.

  49. @sisi –
    You are dead wrong when you say that wind power replaces the power generated by fossil fuels and lowers fossil fuel burning accordingly. Because of the inefficient types of fossil generation that must be on hand to keep the grid energized when the wind stops blowing, MORE fossil fuel is burned when there is wind power in the mix, that if there were no wind power. Not only do quick-start fossil generators consume two to three times as much fuel as baseload generating units, per megawatt-hour generated, you have to have them running all the time when wind power is part of the mix (as “spinning reserve”), and most of that time they are not generating electricity but are burning fuel.

  50. Nigel Farage on the construction by China of a nuclear power plant at Hinkley:

    “I am not concerned about Chinese money coming into this country – I welcome it. But what I think is bonkers is that we’ve gone for this plant at Hinkley, and we’ve guaranteed the Chinese investors a “strike price” as its called, over the course of the next 35 years, which is exactly double what the current cost of electricity is. It’s a dam*ed good deal for China, but I think it’s a rotten deal for the British tax payer. But it’s based on the idea I mentioned earlier on this show – they assume that energy prices will go up, and I think actually, if we get frakking, and start to use a lot more genuine new technology, the price can come down.”

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