The unintelligible in pursuit of the unattainable

Guest essay by Philip Lloyd, Energy Institute, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa

The Paris Agreement is the most recent burp emanating from the turbulent politics of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change [FCCC]. I am not normally dismissive of the cogitations of the great and mighty who forgather regularly for Conferences of Parties, but the Paris Agreement set a new standard for muddled thinking at the highest level.

“Emphasizing with serious concern the urgent need to address the significant gap between the aggregate effect of Parties’ mitigation pledges in terms of global annual emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 and aggregate emission pathways consistent with holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.”

Quite apart from the hubris of the thinking that anyone is able to control the global climate, or the admission that, even if they could, there was still a gap between what they thought they needed and what was offered, there remains an unacknowledged flaw in their thinking.

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“King Canute and the Tide” “Canute rebukes his courtiers” by Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] is set up to advise the FCCC. The IPCC defines climate change as “Any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity.” However, any change is difficult to detect; many supposed changes cannot be detected; and many of the observable changes show that the change has happened previously – for instance, many retreating glaciers are revealing previously used paths. It is not possible, at present, to ascribe conclusively any detectable changes to human activity.

The obverse is patently true – it is not possible to show conclusively that human activity will lead to climate change. Worse, it is certain that ceasing a human activity which is suspected of causing climate change cannot have the anticipated effect of stopping climate change – natural variability must still be present, and the climate will continue to change. Indeed, the Paris Agreement seems to have a lot in common with King Cnut, who commanded the tide to reverse, and had his throne flooded for his lack of understanding.

There are those who would have us believe that they can model the effect of additional greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. A typical example from the most recent IPCC Assessment shows the results of such models. The pink bands follow the black line observations faithfully- but they would, wouldn’t they. The models are fed with tuning parameters to make them fit the observations. Then the models are run without the parameters that are supposed to represent the effect of greenhouse gases, and the resultant detuned models are supposed to look like the world without greenhouse gases.

In fact, all they represent is a detuned model! And they cannot be what they claim to be, namely a world with only natural forcings, because many of the natural forcings are unknown. We know, for instance, that between about 1910 and 1945 the world warmed by about 0.4oC. We also know that greenhouse gas emissions were quite low during that time. So there is a known unknown responsible for the observed global warming, which, being unknown, cannot have been incorporated in the models.

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Moreover, the models claiming to represent natural forcings are generally linear, over the total of about 1400 years of measurements. But we only have to look at the temperature records prior to 1950, when greenhouse gas concentrations started to surge, to know that there was quite a lot of volatility in the signals – far more than these supposed “Only natural forcings” show.

So the Paris Agreement is fundamentally flawed. It cannot achieve what it hopes to. Trillions will be wasted in pursuit of the unattainable. It is time to abandon the charade.

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68 thoughts on “The unintelligible in pursuit of the unattainable

  1. Reminds me of the pursuit of the Holy Grail, or “Unobtainium” from Avatar. Money thrown down a rat hole, and the rats are not giving it back either!

    • The following is note sent to daily newspaper with reference to an article:

      I saw “World’s first big city to run out of water?” on 2nd page of Times Special dated 8th Feb. 2018. This is not an unusual pattern but it is pattern of natural variation in rainfall in this zone.

      I studied the annual rainfall pattern of Durban/South Africa. The data series start at 1873. This data series present a 66 year cyclic pattern. I published in 80s and later included in my book “Agroclimatic/Agrometeorological Techniques: As applicable to dry-land agriculture in developing countries, 1993.

      The data series show 66 year cycle with sub-multiple of 22 years. By integrating these two with their respective phase angle, a predictive curve was derived.

      The 66-year cycle present “WM”, that means the first 33 year follow a below the average line [average annual rainfall of 1020 mm] W shape pattern, then followed 33 year above the average line M shape pattern.

      The first 66 years WM started in 1876 and ended in 1941.
      The second 66 years WM started in 1942 and ended in 2006.
      The third 66 year WM started in 2007 and will continue up to 2072.

      The below the average M started in 2007 will continue up to 2039. That is low rainfall pattern started in 2008 will continue up to 2039.

      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • small correction — last but one line — below the average W and not M

        sorry for the inconvenience

        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • 7th meeting of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damages associated with Climate Change impacts

        Notice that on the UN site it says that the above meeting will take place in March 2018.

        Does this mean that they actually found some losses associated with climate change? Or they have had 6 meetings and are still waiting for some one to claim losses?. A new way for flood victims to get compensation when most insurance policies wont pay for it maybe? And where is the money coming from to pay for these claims? Member countries of the UN. Does this mean my tax money is going towards fraudulent claims caused by natural events? How many other ways are the UN spending our money? It is bad enough that UN members get junkets but I suspect that fraudulent scientific papers are being funded by the UN as well. If I was Prime Minister of Canada I would withdraw from the UN and send only an observer to the meetings.

      • Notice that the name Warsaw always is put in the title of any UN organization when claim damages are possible. I deeply sympathize with Poland’s losses in WW2 but I wished they wouldn’t play on our emotions by always bring the name Warsaw into it.

      • What are the odds that they (too) will be snowed out, like Davos recently and the Denver protest last April?

  2. Phillip Lloyd ==> In regards King Canute — the usual version oif the story is this, as reflected in the related Wiki page::

    King Canute and the tide

    The story of King Canute and the tide is an apocryphal anecdote illustrating the piety or humility of King Canute the Great, recorded in the 12th century by Henry of Huntingdon.

    In the story, Canute demonstrates to his flattering courtiers that he has no control over the elements (the incoming tide), explaining that secular power is vain compared to the supreme power of God. The episode is frequently alluded to in contexts where the futility of “trying to stop the tide” of an inexorable event is pointed out, but usually misrepresenting Canute as believing he had supernatural powers, when Huntingdon’s story in fact relates the opposite.

    • I often say that the Greenie’s frequent admonition that “We must fight climate change.” is equivalent to saying “We must fight the tides.” or “We must fight the sunrise.” Good luck with that, puny humans. It’s arrogant to think we could influence things being driven by titanic, nay, astronomical forces way beyond our power. We are supposed to believe that the tiny fraction of CO2 humans add to the tiny fraction of the atmosphere that is CO2 is somehow overwhelming the natural cycles of the sun, tides, etc. etc.

      • Fighting the sunrise is a good idea. It can easily be shown that the daily sunrise causes a great deal of warming. If we were able to delay the rise of the sun by, say, one hour each day, this would have a detectable effect on the temperature in the following hours.

        For example, suppose the sun was expected to rise at 7 AM that day. Delaying it by some means until 8 AM would produce a noticeable effect on the air temperature at 9 AM.

        The crafty and imaginative Canadians (excluding Manitoba and Saskatchewan) are going to implement a plan so clever it will surely take the world by storm! They have worked out how to do this.

        On Sunday, 11 March 2018, all clocks in Ontario and the other provinces (save the two mentioned) will be moved ahead one hour. This will delay sunrise by one hour, and at 9 AM, the air temperature will have been significantly held back.

        The cost of this is modest – at most a few hundred million $ in lost productivity, confusion, extra car accidents and general unease, but it is a far sight cheaper than the windmills and carbon taxes.

      • Crispin

        IMO daylight saving is one of the ultimate political delusions –

        It lets them think that they do control time

      • @Crispin: I think the best way to stop global warming would be to extend the orbit of the Earth – maybe by a few million kliks, but then, we have experts to figure out that sort of thing…

      • I read a study many years ago about using asteroids on a kind of reverse slingshot orbit, so that instead of gaining energy, they lose energy to the earth. They figured they only needed add a couple of feet the the diameter of the earth’s orbit every millennia or so, to compensate for the sun’s increasing in intensity as it aged.

      • One thing I’ve seen discussed is the tendency of the jet stream to become more wavey as the earth cools.
        As a result of this configuration, much more warmth is allowed into the polar regions.
        Since the polar regions are very good at allowing heat to escape to space, the more warm air that gets to the poles should result in more total energy being lost from the earth.

        This could be a mechanism by which small changes in solar output can be amplified.

      • You cannot have heroes without warriors. Warriors must have some battle to fight to be heroic. Greenies have a desperate wish to be heroic. Since a real war is increasingly impersonal, suitable dragons must be found or invented. The climate change dragon even provides the burning breath. Thus the fairy tale continues with comic book outcomes.

      • “Crispin in Waterloo February 9, 2018 at 2:09 pm”

        It’s a remarkable solution applied to most of Australia except however, Queensland who’s residents believe it causes cow milk to sour and fade curtains.

      • Crispin, the benefits of daylight savings are higher in the higher latitudes. So it is not used in Queensland, but is used to great benefit in NSW, VIC, SA and TAS.

      • Crispin, Were I live we have this daylight saving stuff. When it was first introduced some decades ago my grandmother was a bit concerned about the extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day fading her curtains.

    • Well done Kip. Authors who do their research & get historical facts right, will find that the readers of their work have more respect for them & their work.

    • Yes Mr Hansen, it grieves me also when poor old King Knut ( to give him his real name) is misrepresented as having the ability to control the elements.
      In my opinion he is the archetypal global warming realist who says only God can control the elements.

    • Indeed, when I lived in Bosham, where Canute had a palace the local historians would recount that version of events.
      Interesting how things get corrupted over time.

  3. The Paris agreement is simply a means to an end – namely the UN controlled transfer of prosperity from the developed nations to the developing world (which ironically includes China.) There seems to be an inability amongst our academics and the elites they have spawned to understand that prosperity is not a zero sum game, nor is it one that can successfully be controlled. Prosperity breeds prosperity. To all those who say that Western prosperity has damaged the less developed world. I would say that they would be far worse off economically without Western prosperity. We cannot generate prosperity by transferring wealth to states that are without the economic infrastructure to exploit it, and economic infrastructure evolves rather than being planned.

    • While their ends are certainly redistributive economics, the actual means was far more sinister than Paris. It was for the IPCC to create a false ‘consensus’ around the broken science they needed in order to create enough fear to slip in their true agenda under the guise of mitigating this fear.

      It’s an embarrassment to all scientists that a conflict of interest like this was allowed to arise and distort science in such a profound manner to support such an evil agenda.

      • Matthew Kahn has some insight on this issue from teaching economics to humanities majors. It goes to fundamental assumptions about how life and societies work. For example:
        “If outcomes are due to luck, then a risk averse society will engage in more taxation and redistribution than in a society that believes that life outcomes are directly related to costly effort (i.e Lebron James is a great basketball player due to his long hours of practice).”

        https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/were-richer-than-rockefeller/

      • Taxing and redistribution are quantified as negative growth while increased value added to raw materials (including labor and energy) quantifies positive growth.

    • No. It is the destruction of capitalism, the bringing down of the US economy and a complete change of the world order to global gov of elites. They don’t give a good about 5he third world and in red they will use a bit of money to bring them onside. Sounds like Dr Evil, I know.

      • Redistributive economics is certainly a method capable of destroying capitalism (wealth), but I don’t think that this is what they really want as it would be like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. The true motivation is greed and envy.

      • Most of them are convinced that they are so smart, that if we were to hand over the keys to the planet to them, they could make the world’s economy would take off making everyone richer.

      • Okay – +3

        Auto
        Actually
        + SHEDloads
        !! – a very succinct summary of the watermelons’ goal – a population of no more than 750 million [<10% of the present population], with most as bonded slaves/concubines of a small elite.
        I guess George Soros thinks he will be in the elite.

  4. “So there is a known unknown responsible for the observed global warming, which, being unknown, cannot have been incorporated in the models.”

    It cannot have been “correctly” incorporated into the models, but it can have been simulated (or estimated). There may be ten things (or a hundred) naturally changing the climate, and as long as we know the total change over a period of time, we can add that total effect to our models. Because we do not understand the mechanics (or even the drivers) of this naturally occurring cause(s), it is just a guess that “it will continue to behave as it did during the period of the observations”.

    And there in is the problem with our simulations – because we do not understand the mechanics we cannot be even reasonably sure ALL current warming is not natural. It seems reasonable, but not certain, that an increase in CO2 might increase temperatures – but how do we know the amount unless we know all the other causes and mechanics?

    Man is changing a lot of things all at once – carbon soot, land changes, pollution – how do we know which is causing what anthropogenic changes to climate (if any)?

    They model what they want, and prescribe outcomes to what they choose, and then tell us the models are accurate enough to make predictions of doom. The doom is mostly (or all) in their expectations, it has nothing to do with an increase in understanding.

    I have written various models before, and I have been completely fooled into thinking they demonstrated that they did not. Its hard for most people to accept they are wrong, especially when they think they understand something they do not. Its a humbling experience to realize your model is wrong, but then you grow from knowing you can be easily fooled. And that is how I took the path to becoming a skeptic.

    • Many long years ago I did detailed project cost estimates for the purpose of quoting and managing said projects. I was encouraged to provide variance factors ( or windage as my senior manger called it), which would or could be applied to quantify the risk/reward aspect of the project. It was a valuable concept and it was educational to go through it.

    • Robert
      Agreed.

      Also, we do NOT have a good handle on ‘Global Temperature’ – even to the nearest degree [F/C/R/K].
      Two decimal p-laces is a very sad joke!
      So the difference between a ‘number’ for – say – a year in the Nineteenth Century, and another in the Twenty-First Century [trying to avoid accusations of cherry-picking] – is, shall I say, probably less than either error bar. Let alone both.

      And we are to dismantle capitalism on that?
      Capitalism needs to sort out ridiculous rewards for a few executives [but not inventors or entrepreneurs].

      Auto

      • Why do you feel that some CEO’s are over paid, even though most of them don’t earn as much as your average football player?

      • Auto agreed we have no idea what the average temp is or was,it is best to study history of which we have the odd few thousand years of. History demonstrates very well how the climate changes, for better and for worse.

      • If the free market is left alone, it will do a fine job of weeding out the incompetent. Shareholders of successful companies do not contract out their highest level decision making to the lowest bidder, nor should they. Sadly, the market is distorted in many ways, but it is still the best way we have to reward companies who provide the best goods and services at the lowest prices. And well informed consumers are the best regulators. Get the best information you can and vote with your feet and your dollars.

  5. Climate models are junk precisely because they are hand-of-man tuned to output expectations from their creators. Utter junk science. But without the models the climate scam would collapse.

    Dr Will Happer explains for the lay person.

    • Not all models are wrong. For example, the SB Law modelling a gray body with an emissivity of about 0.62 accurately models the average relationship between the surface temperature of a region on the surface and the planets emissions into space above that region. Even monthly averages match to within a few percent and yearly averages match the model with less than 1% error over the entire range of surface temperatures. This is a repeatable and easily testable result that arises from processing weather satellite imagery.

      The problem is that this model dictates an immutable sensitivity of 1/(4eoT^3), which is only about 0.3C per W/m^2 and less than the old lower limit of 0.4C per W/m^2 and even smaller than the new, revised lower limit. In order to achieve the average 0.8C per W/m^2 sensitivity required by the consensus, the effective emissivity would need to be only 0.23 given the average temperature of 288K. This means that the emissions into space would only be about 90 W/m^2 or else the actual emissions from the surface at 288K would need to be 1044 W/m^2 corresponding to an effective temperature of 368K or 5C less than the boiling point of water.

  6. Philip, I don’t believe anyone knowledgeable really believes in man-caused CAGW since The Pause debunked the earlier notion that it was inexorable and ever upward (remember all the horrors recklessly made about polar ice, imminent end of snow in UK, West side Highway in Manhattan inundated by the by 2000, the tipping points, mass extinctions, disappearance of island nations, river deltas, a billion climate refugees….), except the millions of the gullible faithful, largely new left.

    Note that all the prominent climate scientists are now silent and all the racket is being made by scientifically illiterate activist philosophers, social psychologists, communications specialists, the mindless block of professors , students, graduates in the corrupted humanities, American European communist ideologues, MSM and lefty politicians. The old guard contents itself with op eds in lefty newspapers and smears of scientists who don’t go along.

    I believe they are crippled by growing depression. The Pause created the “Climate Blues” a number of years ago when an unknown number of global warming-promoting Climate Scientists were struck down by clinical depression into a state of classic career ending debilitating dеиуаl. The hangers-on arent doing so well I expect with Trump added to their woes.

  7. And the 1.5 C change is mostly because they now realize warming will be less than originally predicted and that work like that of Nic Lewis suggests (confirms) this as well.

  8. Basic statistics will tell you that the numbers of parameters and their complex non-linear interactions means long range climate predictions are not possible. Even a quantum computer using every baryon in the universe would not be able to make accurate models. “Science is settled” they say. “The debate is over” they say.

    These are the tactics of liars. Meanwhile, the UN and other climate hustlers are raking off around a TRILLION a year from this monumental scam.

  9. That quote that starts with “Emphasizing with serious concern”, that’s a killer. Who writes like that? Or better, who can read that stuff? If you bother to parse it, it’s not even a complete sentence, it’s just a phrase.

    • Thank you, Toto! I was going to point out that that monstrosity is not even a sentence, merely a string of participial phrases that, if completed, could serve as a subject. Once completed, of course, it would require a predicate–a verb, with or without other contents of a predicate (objects, modifiers, and so on). I think that quote is a perfect example of BAFFLEGAB, one of my favorite words, denoting something designed to retard rather than stimulate thought, and to disguise its lack of coherence, cogency, or truth.

  10. They’ll be upping the ante of the unintelligent in pursuit of complete climate cuckalooness at Katowice, Poland, the heart of coal country next December, for COP24, their next climate jamboree. Oh, the ironing.

  11. The rational thing is to invest in plans to geo engineer. Plans cost very little. Build some prototypes, do some testing. Draw up plans in case it is needed. This is low cost. Also give grants for nuclear fusion research. This is also low cost. Only a fool would invest trillions in something that may not happen.

      • I’m talking research grants for fundamental research, not billions of dollars spent on projects like that ridiculous tomahawk thing that they have in Europe.

      • Fusion: work?

        I think we have enough evidence from the lab and the sun that it probably works.

        Some fusion creates electrical charge directly obviating the need for a generator pushed by steam. That is very attractive from a system complexity point of view.

        But does it work? I have only read about it.

  12. Philip:

    I have a couple of questions for you with a proposed answer. It is said that the climate, or ‘a climate’ is the average of the weather that occurs at that place.

    Q. Can the climate be predicted?

    I ask that because the weather is said to be predictable specifically for a few days in advance, and for a year or more, generally (if you accept the Farmer’s Almanac authors as being reasonably capable of doing so).

    Next:

    Q. If the climate is predictable, does it follow that the weather is also predictable, based on a successful prediction of the climate?

    My proposed answer is that even if the climate was more predictable than the weather over some longer time frame, such as a century, that is no way tells us anything about the weather that makes up such a climate – storm frequency, highs and lows, rainfall intensity etc.

    Let me explain: If I have an average number made up of 10 inputs, I can state that the average is true and reflects the magnitude of the 10 inputs. However I cannot say, looking at some average, what the input values were which produced it.

    Climate alarm is largely based on the proposition that being able to reasonably predict a “climate” 50 or 100 years from now, means automatically, that the weather which makes up that climate can be known by knowing something about the climate. In short, the modelers claim that the inputs (weather) can be derived from the value of the average (climate).

    What is your take on this?

  13. El problema es NO SABER EL ORIGEN DEL PROBLEMA, si no se sabe la causa;es DIFÍCIL encontrar la SOLUCIÓN. El CALENTAMIENTO ES REAL,culpar a la actividad humana del 99 % del CALENTAMIENTO GLOBAL fue la GRAN EQUIVOCACIÓN.
    La ACTIVIDAD HUMANA CONTAMINA y eso hay que combatir,tenemos que EVITAR CONTAMINAR,para vivir mejor en este hermoso planeta.
    Los modelos se equivocan porque están hechos por científicos de “escritorio”que manejan “variables equivocadas” y como dice Robert de Texas ” Modelan lo que quieren y prescriben los resultados según lo que elijan”.
    Quiero poner un ejemplo: si solo miramos las gotas de lluvia que caen y no miramos las nubes,si no sabemos porque se forman las nubes,si no estamos en el campo observando la evaporación del agua,si no sabemos que causa esa evaporación y SOLO MIRAMOS LA LLUVIA, no vamos a poder predecir el ESTADO DEL TIEMPO. Las observaciones de campo son muy IMPORTANTES.
    Si supieran que CAUSO EL CALENTAMIENTO (porque ya se termino) encontrarían con facilidad la SOLUCIÓN . Los modelos no se equivocarían y al emplear variables los resultados serian precisos.
    La otra falla fue “no aceptar que podían estar equivocados”
    TODO es natural y cíclico……el conocido- desconocido es BIEN CONOCIDO pero no se le da la importancia que se merece; nosotros, Suarez & Suarez SOLUCIONES SIMPLES lo hemos estudiado durante 50 años y tenemos una conclusión
    EL CALENTAMIENTO GLOBAL lo causa las ERUPCIONES VOLCÁNICAS, se da cada 100 años,empieza 15 a 20 años antes de fin de siglo y termina en los primeros 20 años del nuevo siglo.
    Y nos atrevemos a decir que el próximo CALENTAMIENTO GLOBAL que empezara por el año 2080 SERA un “poquito” mas caliente que el que se esta terminando.
    LAS GRANDES ERUPCIONES VOLCÁNICAS SIEMPRE SE DAN A FIN DE SIGLO.

    [
    The problem is NOT KNOWING THE ORIGIN OF THE PROBLEM, if the cause is not known, it is DIFFICULT to find the SOLUTION. The WARMING IS REAL, blaming the human activity of 99% of the GLOBAL WARMING was the BIG MISTAKE.
    HUMAN ACTIVITY CONTAMINATES and that has to be fought, we have to AVOID CONTAMINATING, to live better in this beautiful planet.
    The models are wrong because they are made by “desktop” scientists who handle “wrong variables” and as Robert of Texas says “They model what they want and prescribe the results according to what they choose.”
    I want to give an example: if we only look at the raindrops that fall and we do not look at the clouds, if we do not know why the clouds are formed, if we are not in the field observing the evaporation of the water, if we do not know what causes that evaporation and ONLY LOOK AT THE RAIN, we will not be able to predict the STATE OF TIME. The field observations are very IMPORTANT.
    If you knew that CAUSED WARMING (because it was over) you would easily find the SOLUTION. The models would not be wrong and using variables the results would be accurate.
    The other flaw was “not accepting that they could be wrong”
    EVERYTHING is natural and cyclical … the known – unknown is WELL KNOWN but it is not given the importance it deserves; we, Suarez & Suarez SIMPLE SOLUTIONS have studied it for 50 years and we have a conclusion
    GLOBAL WARMING is caused by VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS, occurs every 100 years, begins 15 to 20 years before the end of the century and ends in the first 20 years of the new century.
    And we dare to say that the next GLOBAL WARMING that began in 2080 will be a “little bit hotter” than the one that is ending.
    THE GREAT VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS ARE ALWAYS GIVEN AT THE END OF THE CENTURY.”

    His words per Google Translate .mod]

  14. You have the story about King Cnut wrong. He did indeed command the tide to stop, but it was to demonstrate to his fawning courtiers that he did not have limitless power.

    • Exactly, he was teaching his advisors and courtesans and “experts” how stupid they were. He was trying to impart some humility and introspection to a class of political elitists. Now, is there anyone in modern politics trying to repeat this lesson? Anyone? Buehler?

  15. Climate “Science” on Trial; Temperature Records Don’t Support NASA GISS
    One of the oddest aspects of climate “science” is that NASA, the organization that put a man on the moon, ignores its state of the art Satellite and balloon data, and instead relies upon archaic terrestrial ground measurements. Part of the NASA climate “science” community actually ignore the infinitely more accurate data from their satellites. The reason … Continue reading
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/03/12/climate-science-on-trial-temperature-records-dont-support-nasa-giss/

  16. I have often wondered why the CO2 alarmists are only ever interested in “solutions” that don’t work. It would only have been necessary to erect one wind turbine and one small bank of solar panels and then monitor their output for a couple of years to establish that they were completely impractical and would not make any difference to emissions. Here in the UK we are still using diesel trains. If all the money that has been spent on wind turbines had instead been spent on nuclear power stations and electrifying the railways it would have made a real difference to the alleged problem. In really big countries like the US, high speed electric trains could have replaced internal plane journeys at a fraction of the cost of all those windmills and would actually reduced CO2 output. A cynic would conclude that certain people don’t actually want this alleged problem to be solved. This is probably why they are so desperate to deny that the pause exists, how inconvenient would it be if the alleged problem solved itself.

  17. Professor Lloyd – can you PLEASE try to get a copy of this to South Africa’s Energy Minister? Or, failing that, to any sensible person the the umpteen members of the cabinet? (Mind you, ‘sensible’ may be a bit much to ask!) I believe that S.A. is about to institute a ‘carbon tax’, which, on the present workings of S.A.taxes, is just liable to end up in someone’s pocket. And if you could get a word to Chris Yelland at EE Publishers, that ‘renewables’ are also ‘unreliables’, it may also help the pressure on my pocket!

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