Claim: New British Coal Mine Represents a Failure of Climate Activist Engagement

Haigh Coal Mine Museum in Cumbria, Britain. Ralph Rawlinson [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to The Conversation, if climate activists made more effort to engage with ordinary people in deprived areas, they would reject well paid coal mining jobs.

Britain has its first new deep coal mine in decades – a result of pretending climate change isn’t political

March 22, 2019 5.18am AEDT
Rebecca Willis
Researcher in Environmental Policy and Politics, Lancaster University

How can a country with such strong ambitions to reduce carbon emissions, approve a plan to increase them so significantly? My research, which is based on interviews with MPs and looks at how politicians understand and respond to climate change, suggests why such a contradictory situation could have arisen.

Which takes us back to those local politicians in Cumbria who decided to approve the coal mine. Look at it from their point of view. Local authorities have no clear responsibilities or targets to reduce carbon (though it is a factor in planning law). Local politics, in an economically deprived area, is dominated by the need for good employment. Dangle 500 jobs, even high carbon jobs, in front of a local planning committee; make a claim that this is in line with climate commitments; add in the cultural norms that I described above, which make it difficult for politicians to make a political case for climate action; and it’s not surprising that the answer comes out as a yes.

Of course, the local councillors should take responsibility for the decision they have made. But responsibility lies elsewhere as well. National climate policy failed Cumbria in two ways. First, a decade of ambiguity and inconsistency – the price paid for lack of proper debate – means that there is no direct line of sight between carbon targets set at a national level, and individual decisions taken by local councils. And second, climate policy has been top-down and expert-led, with no attempt made to engage citizens or local areas in the need for, and benefits of, the transition to a zero-carbon society.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/britain-has-its-first-new-deep-coal-mine-in-decades-a-result-of-pretending-climate-change-isnt-political-114028

In my opinion Cumbria exposes the lie that climate activists plan to take care of fossil fuel workers whose livelihoods they intend to destroy. Nobody took care of coal miners in Britain; people living in deprived former British coal mining regions were left to rot.

Now British coal is starting to make a small comeback, only now do activists bother to notice the people they ignored for so long.

Update (EW): Fixed a typo (h/t Bloke down the pub)

Advertisements

119 thoughts on “Claim: New British Coal Mine Represents a Failure of Climate Activist Engagement

  1. How are you supposed to make steel without coking coal? According to Google 1st hit – there is no technology to make steel at scale without using coal.

    So society now has to manage without steel as well as without reliable energy?

    Fruit and nut cakes.

      • The exact properties of steel are kinda critical though!

        China etc. will just carry on doing whatever is cheapest and polluting, so again we are really talking about destroying our economy for no reason whatsoever to appease ultras.

        • +1 – and a lot more. Since I like to criticize, I’ll pounce on “kinda’.
          No different than concrete. Specific recipes exist for bridges vs. swimming pools. Use the wrong recipe, and your bridge/swimming pool will fail.
          You’ll see it clearly in bolts. For a specific thread, length, width, they all look alike. The only difference is the pattern on the bolt head. It tells you how strong that bolt is. There was a big hullabaloo a few years ago over intentionally mis-marked bolts, causing catastrophic failures in cars and airplanes. You really don’t want that.

      • Hydrogen embrittlement. Affects most metals. Higher temperatures accelerate the process.

        To the point of putting a silent yet definitive halt to hydrogen fueled jet engines on commercial aircraft where catastrophic failure is a rather unpleasant event.

        Steel produced with hydrogen heat source would to my opinion be really unusable for structural uses.

        • Well, true. While it’s not suitable for construction or any high stress applications it can be used to construct numerous memorials to a robust economy.

      • Even if hydrogen COULD be used to reduce iron ore, the result would be iron, NOT steel. You do NOT want to see a bridge made of iron! And I don’t want to be anywhere near a ship made of it.

        • I don’t know, the Iron Bridge seems to have succeded quite well opened in 1781 and still going strong (or is that still going brittle?)

          • Iron bridge is ‘wrought iron’ which has even MORE carbon in it than steel

            We have always known that steel involves getting at least some of the carbon out by working and folding and exposing it to the air to oxidise the carbon

            The advent of the Bessemer Converter removed the need for that and made large scale production of steel possible.

          • I think you are confusing cast iron, which is quite high carbon, with wrought iron, which is very low carbon. I don’t know which the Iron Bridge is constructed of, but given the date of construction, it is most likely cast iron.

          • Some numbers
            Cast iron 6-7% carbon
            Tool steel 1.1% carbon
            High strain wire 0.3% carbon
            Mild steel under 0.18% carbon
            Typical MIG wire for welding is low hydrogen and very strong compared with mild steel.

        • There is a nice bridge made of iron at Ironbridge, Shropshire, UK. Anyone interested in the emergence of the world made by human ingenuity should visit it.

          JF

      • And how are you supposed to produce aluminum without using coal to generate sufficient electricity 24/7/365 to do the smelting of the bauxite?

        And what was the generating source of the electricity that they planned to use for electrolyzing the water to create the hydrogen to be used to reduce the iron ore?

        • There is or was an aluminum smelter outside Reykjavik, Iceland. The bauxite was shipped from somewhere in Pacific to Iceland due to cheap electricity.

          Went thru the plant during a geology class I was taking while stationed in Iceland. Fascinating!

          • “YES”, ….. Iceland has a cheap, cheap, cheap abundant supply of hydro-thermal energy for heating, electrical generation, etc.

    • And how are you supposed to make the electricity that is made by the wind turbines that is made by the steel that is made by the coal?

  2. Britain should be investing in ultra clean coal for their base load, especially if they wind up crashing out of the EU and things get wonky with those HVDC links to the mainland, albeit they don’t keep the lights on in England much. And burn that at Drax, perhaps with a blend of the wood pellets that keeps those pesky ‘carbon emissions’ in line with a new Nat Gas generator. Japan and S Korea are mixing wood pellets from the Pacific North West with their coal fired facilities especially for this reason and pellets have a similar BTU value to lower grade coal and no retrofit of the coal plant is necessary. All the wood pellets in the Pacific North West, mainly British Columbia, are 100% wood waste, and even sourcing the cull piles left in the bush instead of burning them in a smoulder fire. It is all going up in smoke anyway, or rotting back to methane and CO2 one way or the other. Just think if Australia had adopted this policy and kept their coal plants working, instead of blasting them to smithereens.

    • Earthling2

      We would not “crash” out the EU. FFS!

      There is no evidence whatsoever that leaving the EU with ‘No Deal’ will cause the country any harm. No one has ever left the EU on the scale of the UK so there are no precedents. Indeed, many countries trade under WTO terms and are extremely successful. So there is considerable evidence that it wouldn’t be a disaster, indeed, evidence suggests it is likely to be entirely successful.

      • Hey Scotty…Oh..Ok, at least you didn’t call me a dumb mongrel..hehehe. I thought ‘crash’ was the term used for no deal. Maybe that is the word the Remain side use. I like it actually, cause it makes it sound like it will be on British terms in the final analysis. The EU needs Britain more than Britain needs the EU IMHO. I just watched the movie Brexit the other night, and was real good entertainment and enlightening I thought. North America is offering an exclusive trade deal for Britain, so I hope you guys take that. We are far more reasonable than those nasty, mean, unaccountable klepto/bureaucrats in Brussels, not making any demands on your sovereignty.

        I don’t know what the fuss is about and why Europe has so soon forget that Great Britain and the Commonwealth (USA included) saved the continent from the ravages of Germany twice in 1918 and 1945. Not to mention with France, earlier in 1815 at Waterloo. Europe just doesn’t remember that having a free and strong UK is the best check and balance against their tendency to go off the deep end every 75 years or so. We will probably have to bail out Europe and save them from themselves again, since this stuff usually comes in 3’s.

        • I heard on the radio today that the European economy is not doing very well, while the US economy is doing alright. Who would you want your country to be trading with?

          • ideally the continent that is 20 miles away and connected by train rather than one that is thousands of miles away across an ocean.

          • Jim: ignore the fake angler’s reply.

            We would rather trade with everyone on equal terms and definitely not be controlled by the EU.

          • Mardler,
            Just exactly who do you think the EU is? The UK is a fully member which means it
            gets to vote in the EU parliament elections, it along with every member state gets
            a veto on important decisions and gets a large say through qualified majority voting.
            Leaving the EU means the UK is giving up having a say in the affairs of France, Germany
            Italy, Spain etc. While the fact that it is committed to not having a hard border in Northern Island means that it will have to follow whatever rules the EU makes. So in other words the UK is going from have a large say in how the EU is run to having no say in it and having to slavishly follow it.

            For what it is worth I think you can make a principled case that an increase in local democratic representation obtained by leaving the EU is worth the economic cost that
            it will entail but no-one is making that case. Instead the leave campaigners continue to lie
            and claim that Britain will be able to have its cake and eat it to.

          • The EU is not run by it’s parlimment, but by a huge, unelected bureaucracy. Great Brittain has little to say about how Europe is run currently, similar to all the other members. Elected officials in both Europe and the US have surrendered their power to the regulatory agencies they created. The Deep State is where the real power resides. If GB can free itself from the monster they helped to build, they may be better off in the long run.

          • James,
            There are a lot of bureaucrats in Brussels but there are plenty more in Whitehall.
            But both the UK and the EU are run democratically. Decisions and legislation are
            only passed if they are voted for by a majority. And yes politicians have given a lot
            of power the civil servants but it is hard to see how it would be possible to govern a
            large and complex society otherwise. The option would appear to be to give all the
            power to companies like google or wall street which is not particularly attractive either.

          • “Izaak Walton March 23, 2019 at 7:19 pm

            Decisions and legislation are only passed if they are voted for by a majority.”

            When lived in the UK under EU control, I never once was asked to vote on EU decisions and regulation.

          • Patrick,
            As you are no doubt aware the UK and the EU are representative democracies. You
            vote for an MP who represents your electorate in parliament and then the elected government appoints people who will vote for the UK in the council of Europe. In addition there is the EU parliament and EU citizens can directly vote for members
            in whatever country they are living in. Admitted the EU parliament has close to zero
            actual power but you do get an indirect say in what happens.

            It is hard to see any way around representatives democracies unless you want to cap
            the size of a country to 10 000 or so citizens all of whom can meet and vote on every issue.

          • I’ll repeat, when I lived in the UK under EU control, I never once was asked to vote on EU decisions and regulation.

          • Patrick,
            The UK is not and has never been “under EU control”. It has been a full member state
            of a union of democratic nations with treaty rights and obligations. It has full freedom
            to pass its own laws, set its own foreign policy, invade other countries like Iraq, vote
            against bombing Syria etc. It was also free to leave at any time using the Article 50 mechanism.

            And yes the UK did sign away sovereign rights when it signed the various EU treaties but that is the point of any treaty. For example the 1874 treaty of Bern forced the UK to treat foreign letters exactly the same as domestic ones. Which is a loss of sovereign rights but in return letters by UK authors can get delivered anywhere in the world. Most people would consider this a positive thing. Similarly by signing the various EU treaties the UK gets a say in the affairs of every other EU member state. And if UK citizens actually bothered to learn a foreign language then they could work in Brussels and the UK would get a much larger say in running the EU.

          • What complete twaddle. Parliament has spent most of the last twenty years doing little but rubber-stamping EU regulations, and using the EU to impose regulations that it couldn’t pass itself because voters would oppose them.

            Which is exactly why the toadies in Westminster are so terrified of freedom. They have absolutely no idea how to make decisions on their own.

      • Hot Scot I’ve never doubted they will be better off getting out of the EU – UK is unique in having an entire English speaking freedom loving world with similar culture, values, industriousness, innovativeness … We’ll all have to re-energize ourselves and repolish some of those values and traits that have been tarnished and eroded by the craziness of the past 40yrs or so and the love affair Europe has with a multi-failed 19th Century dystopian political economy.

        The coal mine is good news and probably not an option under the EU totes. What are we going to do, though with suvh as the Lancashire professor bemoaning the new mine. Universities have the deepest rot.

      • HotScot,
        The issue is the transition. Currently 44% of British exports go to the EU tariff free, 1/3 of the average farmer’s income comes from the EU and about 50% of crops are picked by migrant workers from the EU (not to mention the nurses, doctors, truck drivers etc). Turning all of that off overnight which is what you are suggesting will cause chaos. Can you name a single country that overnight has had increased tariffs imposed on 44% of their exports and lost 1/3 of their farmers income and been a success?

        • This coming June it will be 3 years since the Brexit vote took place. Had Britain anticipated that the Brexit terms would be this difficult to negotiate, they could have been gradually implementing withdrawal policies on their end that wouldn’t be so disruptive.

          — maybe a lesson for future exits from the EU —

          • “Britain anticipated that the Brexit terms would be this difficult to negotiate”

            They’re not difficult to negotiate. If Trump was in charge of the UK, he would have had Britain out of the EU and the EU paying them for the privilege of trading with the country. Because the EU needs Britain much more than Britain needs the EU.

            But, instead, the Tories put Brexit in the hands of a woman who has no desire to leave the EU, and hence no willingness to negotiate anything that would benefit the British people.

            Their goal was to prevent Brexit, not to make it work. And it looks increasingly like they’re even going to fail at that.

          • The Brexit terms are not hard to negotiate — if you know what they are. And that is
            the issue. The refererndnum stated that Britain would leave the EU but did not address
            where it would end up. Options range from being in the single market but not the EU
            (e.g. like Norway or Switzerland), being in the European economic area, being in a customs union, May’s current deal, and ‘no deal’. Now every single one of those options
            have been voted down in parliament leaving the government in chaos. And in addition every one of those options will leave the UK worse off financially. If the UK parliament would vote for an option then it could discuss the terms with the rest of the EU.

          • Like I said, May is doing her best not to leave.

            Here’s how you negotiate: ‘we’re leaving, we’re not paying you any more money, if you want to trade in future, make us a deal that’s worth our time.’

            May’s ‘deal’ leaves Britain in the EU but without any say in what happens. No-one in their right mind would sign up to it.

            As for the rest of your post, you appear to be little more than an NPC repeating the standard Remainer talking points.

          • Mark,
            It is just not possible for the UK to say “we are leaving” and then claim it is up to
            the EU to make them an offer. At the very least something has to be arranged about the
            millions of EU citizens currently working and living in the UK, similarly the UK citizens in the EU. Then there is the fact that the peace deal in Northern Ireland requires that the border be open. Simply leaving as you suggest would leave millions of people in legal limbo uncertain about their jobs/homes/counties, restart the civil war in Northern Ireland and destroy British trade. Remember that nearly 50% of UK exports go to the EU
            while only 8% of EU exports go the EU. And over 50% of UK imports come from the EU.

        • Before Britain joined the EU, it ruled most of the world. Since joining the EU it doesn’t even rule itself.

          In the worst case, the British government can just take the billions and billions of pounds it used to send to the EU every year and give it to the companies and farmers who lose out as a result of leaving. That will be much cheaper than remaining a German puppet-state.

          Besides which, it will lose a lot more if it doesn’t leave the EU after the British people voted to do so. Utterly destroying any remaining belief in democracy in the UK will not be good for the economy.

          • “MarkG March 23, 2019 at 5:41 pm

            Before Britain joined the EU, it ruled most of the world.”

            Not really. Britain lost a lot of influence after WW2, leaving the US and Russia as the main players, and almost all after Suez in 1952. Britain never joined the EU. The UK was taken in to the Common Market, as it was called then, by a Conservative PM called Ted Heath in 1973. No referendum, no vote, no mandate.

          • Patrick,
            There was a referendum in 1975 about continuing membership and 67% of voters
            voted in favour of it.

          • “Izaak Walton March 23, 2019 at 8:25 pm

            Patrick,
            There was a referendum in 1975 about continuing membership and 67% of voters
            voted in favour of it.”

            I know this, but I don’t see your point other than it was held about 18 months after the effective date of joining Jan 1st 1974. There was no referendum held to decide to join in the first place. That was made, without a mandate, by one PM. The Common Market is nothing like what the EU has become.

            There has been a referendum with a mandate to leave and its being deliberately delayed by one PM.

            British democracy at it’s best!

        • It is shear scare-mongering to suggest such a scenario. There are two sides to every trade. Those in the EU who export to, or import from the UK, would be hurt just as much. Add just a fraction of those in France who would suffer in that scenario to the existing yellow vests, and that country will be in full civil war.

          There may be no grand unified deal, but there would be dozens of temporary agreements, literally agreed to overnight, made to allow both economies to continue without substantial harm.

          • jtom,
            It is not scare-mongering. The UK passed a law stating that it will leave the EU on
            the 29th of March 2018. So unless the UK parliament decides how it is going to leave
            before then or revokes the law a ‘no-deal’ brexit will happen. Traders in the EU will
            no be so badly off since they will still have 450 million people they can trade freely with
            in the EU as compared to the 60 million people that British manufacturers will be able to
            trade with. Furthermore Britain has stated that in the event of a no-deal tariffs on virtually all goods will be reduced to zero to minimise disruption so UK exporters face the
            prospect of having to pay tariffs on goods they export to the EU but EU manufacturers will still be able to export freely to the UK.

          • The Brexit deadline was originally March 29, 2019 — not 2018. Now they are negotiating an extension to April 12 or June 30, which seems to add more to the chaos.

          • Buying a new German car is an unpatriotic act.

            Buying French cheese is an unpatriotic act.

            Buying Irish beef is an unpatriotic act.

            Our votes don’t seem to matter. Let’s see if closing our wallets does.

            JF

      • +1.

        Even the EU aren’t using ‘crashing out’ any more.

        The current term is ‘disorderly withdrawal’

        I wasn’t much frightened by ‘crashing out’.

        And I’m even less so by ‘disorderly withdrawal’

        Viva Brexit!

      • Takes the award for the most ignorant post with ease. You are lying when you claim that there is no evidence that leaving the EU with no deal will cause the country any harm. For those who wish to be educated – unlike hotscot obviously – http://www.eureferendum.com is a source of factual information in Brexit. Your second lie is that many countries trade under WTO terms. The most common lie peddled by the no deal Brexit brigade is that both the USA and China trade with the EU under WTO rules. A quick look on the EU website for trade agreements will show long list of both bilateral and multilateral trade agreements between the EU and both countries. What the liars try to hide behind is that these are not grandiose trade deals that have taken years to negotiate and therefore not registered by the WTO, however if it looks like a trade agreement and functions like a trade agreement then it is a trade agreement. The no deal Brexit liars are in part to blame for the mess that has been made of Brexit and if the result is that miss our golden chance to leave the EU because of their stupidity, then the bulk of the 17 million that voted to leave will never forgive you.

        • Gerry, a cursory glance at Wikipedia’s entry for EU Bilateral Trade Agreements and its footnotes demostrates that the EU has precisely 2 Free Trade Agreements in place (Mexico and S Korea).

          It has in place 36 other bilateral agreements of various sorts. Most of them are limited in scope. Apart from the agreement with Japan which is the world’s largest bilateral trade deal, all the other agreements are with such giants of the world economy as Montenegro, Albania, the Bailiwick of Jersey, Andorra, Jordan et etc. And they’re not full FTAs either.

          A number of other bilateral agreements are at various stages of negotiation or implementation. They are similar to the non-Japan agreements mentioned above in mgnitude and importance.

          Nothing in any of the above agreements precludes a UK independent of Brussels entering into its own bilateral agreements with giant economies of the world like Georgia, Iceland, Burkino Fasso etc.

          More importantly, Japan, China, USA, India, Australia, Canada, NZ, S Africa, Singapore, the Gulf States (you know the really large, wealthy economies in the world – most of which have very strong links to UK as former Dominions/Colonies/Protectorates and Commonwealth members anyway) will enter into bilateral agreements with UK (we’re only the 5th largest economy overall in the world, and the 5th largest manufacturing economy in the world), the moment UK is free to enter into its own bilateral trade agreements again ie when it leaves the EU.

          I will not say more – this is off topic and I am not going to hijack this thread any more than it already has been. You’re just plain wrong in everything you’ve said.

        • Lets be honest, the whole idea of Brexit was based on lies, purely with the intention of getting enough votes to keep the Conservatives in power. But that’s the Tories for you – they believe they rule the UK by the Divine Right of Kings and will do literally anything to stay in power. £1bn to the DUP to buy their votes so they can stay in power, Brexit referendum, sell off of state assets… no lie, no scam, no unprincipled underhand trick is beyond consideration if it means staying in power. Tories are scum, pure and simple. Pity that the electorate have such short memories and are so gullible that they get taken in by it every time. I lived through Thatchers Britain, and that was enough. I left the UK 17 years ago and haven’t been back. Quite happy where I am, living in the EU, watching the incredible omnishambles that has reduced a middle-sized power, punching way above its weight with delusions of grandeur, to an abject farcical laughing stock. The only possible solution would be a second referendum, as nobody voted for this. They were happy to do it before – why not let them decide now? Maybe they’ve changed their minds. I certainly hope so. If this Brexit fiasco is allowed to go ahead, the worst is yet to come, in ways that no-one can forecast.

          • ‘Lets be honest, the whole idea of Brexit was based on lies, purely with the intention of getting enough votes to keep the Conservatives in power’

            ??

            Thee had only been a general election a year earlier. The Tories could have reasonably expected a relatively smooth four years more before the need for another election in 2020.

            Whatever the reason for the Referendum, it wasn’t ‘to keep the Conservatives in power’

            And after the second referendum you advocate, what about the third? And the seventeenth? Best of 147?

    • Mixing biomass with coal saves equipment change costs. Good. Adding biomass increases NO production which requires additional gas treatment. Bad.

      Biomass contains a double bonded N=O built right in. Remove the two O- single bonded oxygen atoms and you get NO without forming it, it already exists.

      Biomass burning creates glass which forms because chlorine and potassium act as fluxes to reduce the melting temperature of the ash. Danish power plants running on wood pellets (as does Drax) have had huge problems with glass deposition in the heat exchangers. See articles by Tom Miles from Portland as to the seriousness of the problem.

      Several problems can be avoided by co-firing coal with the biomass.

      High performance ultracritical coal combustors created to maximize efficiency are meanwhile developing unexpected problems. The Hitachi units in South Africa are having major problems after one year of operation. Right now South Africa is having Stage 4 rotating blackouts (load shedding) because of this. It may be part of a plan to induce them to buy an atomic power plant from France at an inflated price.

      They were building their own coal fired power stations for decades and have 1000 years worth of fuel. They have no meaningful amounts of biomass to toss in. Switchgrass is a possibility.

      Renewable energy from wind and solar was coming on line at reasonable prices as long as the offtake was guaranteed and someone else provided the backup.

      The Congo is going to get very rich out of this eventually, selling hydro.

  3. I understand that the coal from this mine is specific to the production of steel. Not for electrical generation.
    Without steel we wind up with wooden cars. Cumbria has spoken. Politicians should take note of that.

  4. a result of pretending climate change isn’t political

    Nothing to do with Mann et al’s very unscientificcause, then.

    What do the comrades think?

    NUM backs plans for first new deep coal mine for decades

    “If the company do what they say they are going to do, I don’t see where the objections can be, other than ‘not in my back yard.’ The NUM would be in favour of this mine going ahead.”

    He said modern mining could be carried out in a way which “alleviates environmental concerns.”

    Mr Kitchen added: “We manage the effects of coal mining in a safe and responsible way. All the concerns can be addressed by modern methods.”

    The union opposes the controversial fracking process of gas extraction.

    “With fracking, you have no idea what is going on underground,” Mr Kitchen said. “But with coal mining, you are there. We know what we are doing, so I am in favour of new deep coal mines – and we need the jobs.”

    https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/num-back-plans-for-first-new-deep-coal-mine-for-decades

    Luckily, we don’t have an Ocassional Cortez to throw the jobs away.

  5. My research, which is based on interviews with MPs….

    There’s your first mistake you dumb mongrel. You spoke to the people least likely to understand anything. They have spent that last three years subverting Democracy and you expect them to be truthful about anything else?

    National climate policy failed Cumbria in two ways. First, a decade of ambiguity and inconsistency – the price paid for lack of proper debate –

    You don’t say?

    A mongrel journalist actually admits the lack of debate in a world where “the science is settled” is worthwhile.

    …..climate policy has been top-down and expert-led….” No it effing hasn’t. It may be top down but the experts rely on Peer Reviewed science which has been demonstrated to be somewhere between 50% and 75% non replicable. It is a major crisis in science right now, but instead of cutting every science paper into four quarters and discarding three of them, you just swallow the whole lot and regurgitate it ad nauseam.

    Pillock!

    • It’s not just journalists. Others fly-by-night, or think they can.

      From Sigma Xi, National Research Honor Society– “Research demonstrates cost-competitiveness of sustainable jet fuel” From the authors–
      “However, this target price will only be possible if manufacturers are able to convert the waste lignin from biofuel production into a valuable chemical that can be then sold to offset the cost of the fuel. The net price per gallon could be further reduced by offering airlines a financial credit for emissions reduction.” From the abstract–
      “Our results highlight the need for improvements beyond currently-reported yields for the biologically produced intermediates, identification of ideal microbial hosts, selection of metabolic pathways to achieve competitive production costs, and a focus on fuels with attractive properties that increase their value.” https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2019/ee/c8ee03266a#!divAbstract

      While it’s one thing to push your product, it’s another thing for a scientific organization to be complicit, especially with misinformation. I suspect Sigma Xi does not seriously examine these, just picks the correct agenda and many of their posts are non-political. It came from BIOFUELS INTERNATIONAL–
      https://biofuels-news.com/display_news/14481/berkeley_lab_researchers_demonstrate_biojet_fuel_competitiveness/

  6. “…if climate activists made more effort to engage with ordinary people in deprived areas…” Yes, you need to make a special effort to get the propaganda climate information out to the lowly proles, using simple language, as most have had very little education, and are dumb. Leafleting is good – just airdrop thousands of them with short, simple climate sayings on them. Make it fun! Rent vehicles with loudspeakers on them, and drive through the streets reminding them that recycling is good for the planet, and that they should try to walk more. Besides, it’s good exercise! Drop little hints here and there that they need to be good planetary citizens, and reduce their carbon footprints, but again, make it fun! With the right approach, a gentle and kind one, soon, they too will know that carbon is bad, and that we need to kill coal, not harvest it.
    /sarcnado

  7. From her bio the authorhere, Rebecca Willis, “investigates how politicians understand and respond to climate change.”

    Maybe Rebecca should understand something about politics first? Especially in a representative democracy.
    Because it seems to me she doesn’t understand anything about the phrase, “All politics are local.”
    She answers her own question of course by recognizing the local need for good jobs, but can’t resolve the inconsistency between her belief in climate catastrophism and why it isn’t held by everyone else.

    She is an example of academic elitism of course that is so rampant on university campuses now. She has spent her entire adult life in academics, with all the snobbery, the looking down her nose at people who work and make the world run, so she can sit back and ponder why they can want good jobs over some imaginary climate catastrophe.
    The local politician of course knows these people. Frequently they come from them — as they should if they are to represent them, their values, and their welfare. These are the people who actually drive the buses and trains Ms Rebecca expects to run on time. The people who do all the labor and planning to ensure that when she flips on a room light switch, there is actually electricity current ready to flow from a distant generator through all of the switches and transformers to the wires to make the light appear. The people who make sure the water that flows from her taps is both clean and the pumps have electricity to push it to her faucet spigot.
    Maybe Ms Rebecca would like to live in world totally run by wind and solar, so that when she flips that switch it’s a crap shoot whether the lights will actually turn on? Or that her home’s refrigerator and all her food in it are actually being kept cold? Or on those wet, cold winter’s nights in Lancaster there is actually electricity to keep her warm in her home?
    Maybe she’d enjoy a cold, damp cave with a little fire flickering from a few twigs and branches she could scavenge instead? Is that the “low carbon” life she dreams of for herself, or is that the reality she wants to impose on others for her green virtue signalling? Those sacrifices are universally what people like Ms Rebecca wants to impose on others, without those sacrifices for herself.

    Ms Rebecca is exactly why American Conservative thinker-writer William F Buckley, Jr. famously said, “I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.”
    And I would amend that to add for Ms Rebecca’s understanding, “…or of any research faculty member of Lancaster University.”

    In that William F Buckley statement lies the essential answer to Ms Rebecca’s ponderings about why politicians do what they do.

    • Joel, excellent rant. There’s no way to talk to these kind if people though. When the craziness is over, you just have to cut off funds and let them ponder why.

    • Joel,
      Perhaps you should read the article. The point of the article is the conflict between local and national governments. The UK government set as a target an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions (with only 5 MPs
      out of 650 voting no). It is then very inconsistent for a local government to approve new coal mines and clearly the two approaches are inconsistent. Recognising that and asking why seems to me a sensible question.

      • OK, *but*, as various commentators here have pointed out, the coal from this mine is apparently the kind needed for making steel, so it’s not just any coal mine in that sense. So if the UK government recognizes that there is currently no serious alternative for making the steel the world needs, then surely they can be all in favour of reducing emissions generally and still allow this particular kind of coal mine as an absolute necessity, given current technology? It’s no contradiction to put the goal of making the bridges safe to drive on ahead of CO2 reductions — it’s called “priorities”.

        That reminds of of a neat little video of Bill Gates that appeared recently here on WUWT. When discussing market trading schemes to try to resolve these sorts of difficulties, Gates’ comment was a rhetorical, “Do the guys on Wall Street have something in their desks that makes steel?”

        I note that the word “steel” only appears once in the referenced ‘ The Conversation’ article. So, if anyone happens to skip over that one sentence, the article as such provides no further background or insight as to what might really be going on in this regard. It appears, then, that some reporters are just *full* of words when it comes to signalling what is virtuous, but when it comes to modern life’s necessities, all you hear from them is essentially nothing, just “cricket” noise, basically!

      • Izaak,
        I did read the article. And then I went to her bio in link Eric provided.

        It is clear the answer to your question as well. The MPs are not the ones who face the real-world consequences of their votes. The local council though represents real people at a much closer level of contact with people needing good paying jobs. And I mean jobs where real work is involved, unlike Ms Rebecca where her wirk exists only in the world of an ivory tower removed from the real world.

        Which is why I point out that even ivory tower academics want their lights and refrigerators to work 24/7. They want their heat in their homes and flats when they are cold. They want that fresh safe water, heared if needed for shower, to flow on demand 24/7.
        People like Ms Rebecca live in a land of fantasy and unicorns if they really believe that can happen with wind turbines and solar panels. And they further delude themselves to think that local politicians are not responsive to the very real need for their constituents to have good jobs, not handouts because of some virtue signalling nonsense from “green” pols and the elites.

        Ms Rebecca needs to get her arse out of her ivory tower and take a 3 month job as a checker at a local grocery or retail store or similar working productive job among the people she wants to put on the breadline with her virtue signalling. I doubt she’d be so Green after actually having to work outside of her safe-space Green yob for the money she needs to just subsist.

      • @ Izzak Walton, Mar 23, 2019 at 4.41 pm.

        A couple of slight problems with your “sensible question”.

        The 5/650 dissenting Brit MPs are in the right: CO2 (plant food) reductions will have zero to negligible effect on climate or temperatures, but will slaughter or force offshore our industries.

        May I suggest you read the 121 page booklet of climatologist Dr. Tim Ball: Human Caused Global Warming, The Biggest Deception In History?

        The 650 MPs seem to have been swept along on a tide of hysteria generated by our beloved fake news MSM & sustained by many corrupted govt agencies.

        Dr. Tim covers the science & scandals, the political plots & the profiteers. He names names: Bankster Rockefellers & multi-billionaire cronies like George Soros & Ted Turner, Gore & many more.
        The depopulationist monster one world govt control freaks.
        A must read.
        http://www.drtimball.ca

        I whiff a distinctly Totalitarian tendency in your “sensible question”: no deviation from the centrally mandated plan can be allowed?
        ZE UK MUST DO WIZOUT STEEL AZ WELL AZ PLANT FOOD?
        Yawohl, mein Herr?
        Fanaticism lies at the heart of pushing this global fraud.

        If you wish to delve deeper into the science of climate, may I recommend Geology prof. Ian Plimer’s great book:
        Heaven and Earth, Global Warming: The Missing Science?
        Over 2,000 ref’s to peer-reviewed papers, books etc. & well indexed this considerable work of scholarship mentions the main scandals inevitable in pushing this fake science fraud since 1988, but mainly focuses on the fascinating real science.

        Denigrate the 5 out of 650? No sir. I say three cheers for the 5 with knowledge & backbone enough to vote against the dumb stampeding herd.
        JD.

  8. When the wind does not blow Maybe Ms Rebecca can heat her house with a few torch batteries – that is what these big Tesla batteries are. But how many torch batteries do you need to make a ton of steel?
    I doubt that she is aware that the purpose of the Cumbrian mine is to make coking steel, presumably for export to China because I don’t think w have any steel making plants here so it is just as carbon neutral as all the other reductions we made in the last twenty years by offshoring our manufacturing ( and jobs)

    • When it isn’t used in the UK, then that coal likely goes to a nearby steel mill, like the one in IJmuiden, NL. Or to one of the ones in FR or DE. Not China.

  9. The UK Oil and Gas Authority recently published an updated prediction of 11.9 billion barrels oil equivalent UK continental shelf extraction by 2050. This was almost 50 per cent increase from their forecast four years ago (eight billion).

    Did anybody make a big climate noise about this? I heard nothing.

    In fact, the Scottish National Party couldn’t help the salivating over tax and spending ambitions, and arguing that the case for another independence referendum is improved by the higher forecasts of fossil fuel production. The same Scottish National Party who routinely brags about its world-leading reductions in CO2 emissions (achieved by subsidy collected in England, and closure of coal fired capacity which leaves Scotland dependent on peak demand power supply from England).

    Trying to create a fuss over a coal mine is a display of cowardice and hypocrisy.

    If Rebecca Willis or anybody else wants to make a case against UK fossil fuel production, they should start with a proposal to close the UK continental shelf. Good luck with that!

  10. Eric,

    There was a 10 page supplement in The Australian on Friday devoted to Australian Coal. There are some excellent articles that actually spell out a few home truths with respect to how Australia has benefited and will continue to benefit from the Australian Coal Industry.

    cheers, Basil

    • Australia’s anti-coal crusade is pure madness. I’ve got a diesel generator ready for when my area goes 100% renewable…

      • I am no expert by any means but High School Economics makes me question the wisdom in mining coal and iron ore in Australia, shipping both to China and then buying steel from China. It was always claimed as far as I can remember that is was due to relatively high wages in Australia.

        Now it seems the argument against using Aussie coal in Australia is down to C02 emissions. At least one coal mine has been stopped on “Climate Change” issues. Just how mining coal and iron in Australia using oil powered machinery, shipping the raw materials to China using oil powers ships, processing the finished product using coal powered electricity and then shipping the product back to Australia using oil powered ships is supposed to reduced global CO2 emissions, is beyond my powers of reasoning.

        Massive economic destruction here for a larger global CO2 output? Where is the sense in that if CO2 is the world ending problem is is supposed to be?

        • When saving the planet, no sense is required.

          High wages is also an issue when competing in the global market. Labour costs was one of the costs cited by Ford and Holden GM for pulling car making out of Australia. IIRC, it cost Ford and Holden GM 4 times as much to make a car in Australia compared to Asis and 2 times as much as in Europe. Another, “hidden”, reason is the Abbott Govn’t stopped subsidies, which simply made it’s way to GM in the US.

      • Taiwanese pay about one third per kWh of what Australians pay for electricity using the same coal (Taiwan ~46% coal).
        Australian must do that otherwise our politicians are ignored at social gatherings of the great and the good, unless of course they are as bumptious as Kevin Rudd:

  11. Hurray!
    Climate activist failures are major successes for the rule of science and all rational minded persons who support it!

  12. It’s never been about people.

    AGW/CC has always and only ever been about power.

    As usual, power seekers are willing to make tough sacrifices. That usually includes sacrificing the lives and freedoms of innocent people standing in the way.

  13. Quote “First, a decade of ambiguity and inconsistency – the price paid for lack of proper debate – means that there is no direct line of sight between carbon targets set at a national level, and individual decisions taken by local councils.”

    But I thought the debate was over, the science settled?

  14. The Haigh Coal Mine Museum, eh? Makes me proud to be a Haigh! The greenies haven’t done me and my fellow oil and gas workers any favours over the last 30 years either in spite of our contributing to the funding for their Mickey-mouse “science”.

  15. RE. this new coal mine, does the UK have a target regarding coal or not. ?

    I think its a case that members of parliament, mostly being lawyers, always make sure that there are plenty of loopholes in any law, to make their other life after parliament profitable.

    MJE VK5ELL

  16. I always love the smug dimwits who comment in The Conversation. Other people then needle them about how stupid their comments are and they never even get the joke.

    • I read the comments, there were a mix of ridiculous and reasonable, just like here.

      Smug dimwits exist on all sides of this debate. They are usually obvious by there need to put others down without the slightest pretext of why they are wrong.

  17. After the Brexit vote, they should have just exited the EU. The negotiations would have occurred afterwards out of necessity. That’s what a strong prime minister would have done. They just wanted to become an independent GB afterwards.

  18. Teresa May never wanted to leave the EU, so she dragged things out, then expected the UK parliament “Punch Drunk” by now, to roll over and agree to a deal that in practice still had the UK back in the EU.

    The nonsense over the so called “Hard Border” between the two halves of Ireland for example. No such thing as a hard border other than perhaps the likes of Checkpoint Charlie in the old Berlin. A border between crossing such as Canada and the USA is just that a crossing point, with as few problems as possible. In the case of Ireland its a fear that if the”” Easter agreement” is broken then the old IRA will come back.

    Thus the vote of the six Northern Irish M.P’s are critical .

    MJE VK5ELL

  19. What a tiny little world we live in….
    Me anyway.

    Lot of talk about ‘bridges’ and that is exactly where I am now – doing coffee in a place/pub called Pontuis Fractus – contemporarily= Pontefract.

    It gets worse, me being originally from Cumbria
    Then, my family name is of Welsh origin. Seemingly we were miners in Wales (circa a century ago) and were ‘invited’ to break up a strike being held by the Cumbrian miners.
    Things were ‘a bit rough’ in West Cumbria at the time, but the Welshmen were even rougher and got the iron ore mining working again as well as the coal mines also.
    (As the song goes, When the going gets tough, the tough get going)

    Another of my coffee shop haunts:
    https://www.jdwetherspoon.com/pubs/all-pubs/england/cumbria/the-henry-bessemer-workington

    If you REALLY wanna see Climate Change in action, visit Cumbria.
    You will see initially what, to some people, look like maggots crawling about on the hilssides.
    Those are actually sheep when you get closer.
    What happened to RGB@Duke?
    Remember what he used to say….
    “Goats create deserts” in case you forgot.
    (Folks still on Dry January *will* remember – 313 days to go. Lucky for some eh?)

    Because in Cumbria you will see the soil erosion caused by those woolly critters eating so close to the ground.
    Muddy gateways and fields, floods in city centres (Carlisle 2005 and 2013 – also Ccokermouth in 200 and 2013) and the water utility wanting to fence off the catchments to its reservoirs (filling up with silt) up there.

    THAT is soil erosion, THAT is desertification and THAT is Climate Change in action.
    Temperatures and rainfall totals are NOT where the action is and most certainly not inside the workings of computers, no matter how ‘super’ you imagine them to be.
    Open your eyes, take an inquisitive mind and you will see it.

    (A solar power meter to get a measure of Albedo is also very educational – I think I’ll have better luck working out the temperature of clouds that Dr Spencer did with his IR thermometer.
    That is, once I’ve learned to read Mandarin and can grasp the instruction book. Is that where the good doctor went wrong?)

    • 200?
      The year 200AD – is that when the bridge broke in Pontius Fractus?
      Could be…
      2009 for the town of Ccokermouth – the place didn’t have the proverbial snowball in he11s chance being at the ‘twizzle’of 2 rivers coming off hills literally crawling with sheep.
      No soil organics. No moisture retention.
      Just like living in a sewer-pipe when someone flushes their toilet.

      Tragedy of the Commons innit

    • Surely the way to convince non believers is not to tell them it is beyond question but to answer the questions coherently and fully. Surely I have the right to ask why peer review believes a computer model is beyond question when it is based on data that fails the quality control procedures required for a £1.00 retail Christmas novelty product. No computer model can be better than the foundation data it is based on.

  20. … only now do activists bother to notice the people they ignored for so long …

    The same may be said for the whole political class in the UK; in fact in the Western world. Think Brexit; Wall; Pipelines; Yellow Jackets

  21. All of this angst because of a CLAIM that higher CO2 levels are a CRISIS with no scientific evidence to support such a claim.

  22. Talking of hammers and anvils, steel. Anyone noticed the UK preparation for a bad Brexit – Operation Yellowhammer?

    As a keen UK observer noted, definitely not named after the little bird,
    rather to hammer any possible Yellow Vest activity.

    Macron would be proud.

  23. I have visited many ex coal mining communities in the north and it infuriates me that not only have the climate science frauds destroyed the mining jobs at the heart of the community but the community self respect as well. Mining and steam technology were the real cause of the end of slavery not some nebulous law passed by some self righteous politician. Instead of this being recognised and praised fossil fuel is treated as a criminal act based on computer models no decent modeller would rate above bottom end junk standard based on data of an even lower standard.

  24. Gerry, a cursory glance at Wikipedia’s entry for EU Bilateral Trade Agreements and its footnotes demostrates that the EU has precisely 2 Free Trade Agreements in place (Mexico and S Korea).

    It has in place 36 other bilateral agreements of various sorts. Most of them are limited in scope. Apart from the agreement with Japan which is the world’s largest bilateral trade deal, all the other agreements are with such giants of the world economy as Montenegro, Albania, the Bailiwick of Jersey, Andorra, Jordan et etc. And they’re not full FTAs either.

    A number of other bilateral agreements are at various stages of negotiation or implementation. They are similar to the non-Japan agreements mentioned above in mgnitude and importance.

    Nothing in any of the above agreements precludes a UK independent of Brussels entering into its own bilateral agreements with giant economies of the world like Georgia, Iceland, Burkino Fasso etc.

    More importantly, Japan, China, USA, India, Australia, Canada, NZ, S Africa, Singapore, the Gulf States (you know the really large, wealthy economies in the world – most of which have very strong links to UK as former Dominions/Colonies/Protectorates and Commonwealth members anyway) will enter into bilateral agreements with UK (we’re only the 5th largest economy overall in the world, and the 5th largest manufacturing economy in the world), the moment UK is free to enter into its own bilateral trade agreements again ie when it leaves the EU.

    I will not say more – this is off topic and I am not going to hijack this thread any more than it already has been. You’re just plain wrong in everything you’ve said.

  25. CO2 ability to create heat is Logarithmic.. It is well known. Gets even funnier. Lots of posts re the coming Mini Ice Age. Glacers getting bigger again and more snow on the planet.
    Also fact is IPCC computer guy Ben Santer must now be getting desperate. Climategate has not disappeared and at some stage he will face his accusers.
    Hockey Stick type graphs are insulting.

Comments are closed.