The cost of this net zero madness? Even a trillion is an underestimate

From The Conservative Woman

BY Andrew Montford June 14, 2019

THE £1trillion figure is propaganda, not analysis; you can pluck any number you want.’ So said Adair Turner, the former head of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), according to the Telegraph on Wednesday.

Turner was lambasting Whitehall estimates of the cost of taking the country to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It’s unclear whether there is any meaningful analysis behind the £1trillion (£1million million, or £1,000,000,000,000) figure, which was put together by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Turner may therefore be correct. But the CCC’s own figure (1 to 2 per cent of GDP in 2050) is just as dubious. Despite having published a raft of papers to support its contention that net zero was a plausible goal, none of these, including the one on the ‘costs and benefits of net zero’, had anything like a breakdown of costs or of benefits. Lord Deben seems to have plucked the 1 to 2 per cent figure, fully formed, from the air, in just the same way Turner had slammed the Treasury for doing.

The question of the costs involved in the net zero project is impenetrable to say the least. The CCC is not advancing a plan for achieving this goal so much as making a sales pitch. So you will look in vain for a definitive picture of how it thinks energy should be provided in 2050, say, or what we might need to spend to get it. There is an example of how the energy system might be constituted, though, and from this you can estimate that we might have to spend a quarter of a trillion pounds on wind turbines. However the CCC has made some astonishingly optimistic assumptions about how much electricity each one of these will provide, so the cost will almost certainly be much higher. Similar figures emerge elsewhere in the CCC’s papers; its own figure for decarbonising housing is close to half a trillion pounds. Refuelling equipment for electric or fuel-cell powered vehicles will be another 0.1 trillion.

I could go on, but you will have grasped my point by now. These sorts of numbers, coming out from just a small fraction of the actions the CCC is demanding, suggest that the Treasury’s £1trillion is not only plausible for the outlays required for reaching net zero emissions, it’s almost certainly a gross underestimate.

Read the full article here.

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Coeur de Lion
June 15, 2019 11:20 pm

UK produces 1.2% of global CO2. CO2 is not the primary climate driver. I have gilet jauneson my car.

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
June 16, 2019 5:04 am

I’ve told you a million times not to exaggerate.

You are off by only 3000%.

>96% of CO2 emissions are NATURAL. <4% are man made. Britain's portion of the man made is ~1.0%. Ipso facto, Britain produces 0.04%.

William Astley
Reply to  Gamecock
June 16, 2019 10:25 am

Good point. Kind of changes everything scientific discovery. Science is not an argument or a fight as what is, is.

There is no CAGW, AGW, or ocean acidification as there is independent and logically linked hard evidence which supports the assertion that humans caused less than 5% of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2.

There are a half dozen papers, that use independent observations and analysis techniques, to prove the same point. Here is a link to a couple.
The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature
Ole Humlum a,b,⁎, Kjell Stordahl c, Jan-Erik Solheim d

As cause always must precede effect, this observation demonstrates that modern changes in temperatures are generally not induced by changes in atmospheric CO2. Indeed, the sequence of events is seen to be the opposite: temperature changes are taking place before the corresponding CO2 changes occur.


Empirical observations indicate that changes in temperature generally are driving changes in atmospheric CO2, and not the other way around.

June 15, 2019 11:32 pm

Please somebody , anybody – what does net zero mean?
How could the carbon cycle on planet Earth not be net zero?

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  farmerbraun
June 16, 2019 12:16 am

Net zero ,means that the British economy will emit 0 tons of CO2. They may fudge this by claiming things like forests qualify as sinks for CO2 .

A C Osborn
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
June 16, 2019 4:55 am

No that is not waht it means, because that is a total impossibility.
It means that they will produce Zero MORE CO2 than some previous value. Which used to be 1990’s output, but I think is now more like 1790’s output.

old white guy
Reply to  A C Osborn
June 16, 2019 5:16 am

Correct, there will never be zero. It will also never regress as the population continues to expand. Impossible.

Gerry, England
Reply to  old white guy
June 16, 2019 8:03 am

Since the result of this lunacy will be to trash the economy, the population will be shrinking as firstly all the recent immigrants from the EU leave given that they have only come here for jobs, followed by the professionals who can easily find employment elsewhere, and so on….

Planting trees on the sites of all the closed factories will help balance the CO2 budget. Even people that appear intelligent can’t see how this is all utter madness. Still, appearances can be deceptive.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  old white guy
June 16, 2019 9:35 am

The professionals.may have to look outside the EU. No freedom of movement for Brits post Brexit. Anyway all those bilingual EU citizens will have taken the best jobs for English speakers.
Best option the old favourites North America and the antipodes. Getting there on a sailing ship naturally.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  farmerbraun
June 16, 2019 12:29 am

Creative accounting.

Ian Magness
Reply to  farmerbraun
June 16, 2019 1:43 am

“Net zero” is defined as the sum total of what we Brits will achieve both in terms of global “carbon emissions” reductions and their effect on “global warming” as a result of spending our £1,000,000,000,000+++.
The term was clearly created as a joke by the CCC. When we look back in 30 years’ time those that are still alive, when confronted with the reality of no change will say: “but we told you that the result would be net zero – we were right – you can’t criticise us”

Reply to  Ian Magness
June 16, 2019 6:56 am

The saddest / most comical part is that the UK is now just a fading economic backwater, and what they do or do not do will have a zero net zero effect on the Earth’s atmosphere.

but apparently they are enamored of the idea of destroying what little shreds of industry they have left and sending all of it to the US, China, and India. Good luck with that, and good luck running a country where no one does actually does anything anymore.

Reply to  wws
June 16, 2019 11:26 am

“where no one does actually does anything anymore.”

That’s not entirely true. We’re quite good at stabbing.

Reply to  Fenlander
June 16, 2019 11:27 pm

That’s not we. That’s the imports.

Reply to  Fenlander
June 18, 2019 1:11 am

And that is primarily a London problem, not one which has afflicted the rest of the mainland. Scotland, Wales, the south-west and north of England are all much the same as they used to be, i.e. quite safe and civilised.

Phil Rae
June 16, 2019 12:18 am

The unbelievable ignorance of the ex-Prime Minister is beyond belief! An impossible fiction that will waste at least £1 trillion of money that could be spent better on so many other things! Meanwhile, the BBC spins its fictional web of a hydrogen economy & electric cars with no impact on standard of living! Leaving aside the technical & engineering difficulties which are insurmountable with ANY of today’s known science, the cost of even pursuing such a fool’s errand will mean big tax increases and increases in the price of EVERYTHING. And all for nothing since there is no way this goal can be achieved apart from cooking the books! A vast amount of money wasted – taken by stupid government, financiers, energy companies and all manner of advisory companies that will spring up to hoover up all the windfall that this will bring them. What a scam!

steve case
Reply to  Phil Rae
June 16, 2019 1:23 am

Phil Rae June 16, 2019 at 12:18 am
… An impossible fiction that will waste at least £1 trillion of money that could be spent better on so many other things!

Or not collected in the first place.

Brent Hargreaves
Reply to  steve case
June 16, 2019 4:21 am

Yes! Leave this money in the taxpayers’ pockets and watch us thrive. The lessons of Thatcher and Reagan need to be relearned.

Reply to  Brent Hargreaves
June 16, 2019 11:28 pm

Shhhh! Our wunnerful ‘leaders’ know better than us plebs…….

Phil Salmon
Reply to  Phil Rae
June 16, 2019 4:15 am

It was not ignorance by TM, but a purely spiteful act. She will cackle with laughter in her retirement, shielded by privilege, as the country’s economy crashes and burns.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Phil Salmon
June 16, 2019 6:27 am

Also, she’s still angry that some whippersnapper dropped a house on her sister.

Nicholas McGinley
June 16, 2019 12:32 am

I am not sure what “net zero” means, or if has anything to do with actually eliminating CO2 production altogether.
But I am wondering what sort of mitigation they might come up with, given that, so far, building and installing wind turbines has meant chopping down a lot of trees.
One thing id for sure: Wind and solar will never even possibly provide not just power as it is used now, but also allow all motor vehicles and everything else now fueled by oil and gas products to switch to electric.
A grad cannot even be stable theoretically on wind and solar alone, and what about at night and when it is windless?
Dispatchable reserves? Spinning reserves?

These use FF even when on standby, meaning more emissions than if there were no turbines and panels.
I am pretty sure the people passing these laws and mandating this have no actual knowledge of how these things work, the economics, the engineering, etc.
Are they waiting for magic batteries, thinking a few hundred billion ought to lick that aspect?
I think they are idiots.
They just know how to pass laws.
If the plan was nuclear, it would have a decent shot.
But it seems this is another place moving away from any talk of nuclear…the only non CO2 producing reliable source for abundant and affordable power.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
June 16, 2019 1:51 am

I think they are idiots“. Idiots, only if they don’t know what they are doing. Otherwise, they are downright evil.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
June 16, 2019 3:02 am


One of the biggest ironies of the plan is that we will still be using almost as much natural gas as now, both for standby power and converting into hydrogen for heating.

To make it zero carbon will mean CCS, which does not even exist in any viable form.

June 16, 2019 1:17 am

“suggest that the Treasury’s £1trillion is not only plausible for the outlays required for reaching net zero emissions, it’s almost certainly a gross underestimate.”

not plausible? implausible? surely not plausible.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  lee
June 16, 2019 8:50 am

I noticed this word usage.
I decided what was meant is that one can see that it would easily cost £1trillion and likely much more. Still, I would have written it some other way.

June 16, 2019 1:31 am

It’s all about how you get there. I’ve done calculations for cost of elimination of transportation and power emissions for the U.S. Simply retain current nuclear and hydro, replacing all of the rest with small modular molten salt nuclear reactors, which require no peak load backup generation , and assume the obvious – that the transportation sector essentially goes all electric by 2050, without any need for govt subsidies, then the cost of the molten salt reactors required to do all this will be under a trillion dollars. Voila!!! You are there, painlessly and with power from the new system cheaper than ever and transportation fueling much cheaper than before. Of course, this is far too simple to be popular amongst the activists, and doesn’t require their actions.

Reply to  Col Mosby
June 16, 2019 6:06 am

Of course, this is far too simple to be popular amongst the activists, and doesn’t require their actions.

Actually, they actively oppose the idea.

Giving society cheap, abundant energy … would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun. Paul Ehrlich

They want us to consume less of everything. Of course, they would muck things up, just as Marxists have done everywhere, and billions of people would die a horrible death. Some of the more radical environmentalists would call that a good thing.

WRT molten salt reactors. I have followed a number of developing technologies over the years. These technologies actually worked and got at least to the pilot plant stage. None of them panned out. There was always something that did them in. In that light, depending on a particular technology to come along is dangerous. In the case of the CAGW alarmists, they assume that Moore’s law will cause the cost of renewable energy and battery storage to go to zero.

Reply to  Col Mosby
June 16, 2019 8:57 am

Please provide details on useful electric-powered aircraft.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
June 17, 2019 2:11 am

Yes, I would like to see that myself. Or gliders might be interesting.

Bemused Bill
June 16, 2019 1:47 am

During the recent Australian Fed elections the Labor Party refused to cost their green promises…so the conservatives estimated their loony ideas would cost the country 360 billion dollars conservatively. The Labor Party bleated about how their promises would be “Net zero” cost as modernization of this type would create jobs, be low cost in time and would have to be done at some time anyway, so lets get on with saving the planet…..fucking hell!
Can you imagine what kind of moron would think the electorate was going to wear that? So an unpopular Liberal Party won handily and Labor went into navel gazing overdrive coming up with all manner of idiotic reasons why Labor lost. The whole thing was reminiscent of the US 2016 surprise and I am still laughing when I think of either election.
And best of all…they have learned nothing and will try the same crap next time and lose hugely. So to all those assholes who couldn’t care less about other peoples jobs and have lost their own due to the election result and don’t know what they are going to do?
Learn to code.

Alastair Brickell
June 16, 2019 2:08 am

June 15, 2019 at 11:32 pm

It’s quite simple really. All you need is to have 100 new Drax generating stations powered by the trees you chop down in virgin forests in the US. Then you hop over the fence and plant a similar number of trees. See…net zero! Easy.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Alastair Brickell
June 16, 2019 7:19 am

“It’s quite simple really. All you need is to have 100 new Drax generating stations powered by the trees you chop down in virgin forests in the US.”

I think California should think about installing Drax-type, woodburning powerplants to supply California with power, as a substitute for bird-killing windmills. California has plenty of wood to burn right there in the state.

June 16, 2019 2:16 am

So lets try and put the UK’s emissions into perspective

95% of co2 is natural. Of the remaining 5% Britain emits 100th of that. It would be very foolish to believe that more than a tiny fraction of that is unnecessary-heating, farming, transportation of food etc being vital.

So our ‘bad’ co2 emissions are probably 10% of that 100th of that 5%? Can anyone express that final figure in terms of our ‘bad’ co2 impact on total co2? In words, as figures are not understood very well when there are lots of zeros involved.

June 16, 2019 2:18 am

Is the CCC run out of some basement, or does it have a real address/ building where we can get in touch ???

June 16, 2019 2:34 am

According to Nordhaus’ 2018 table 2 on page 349, the “abatement costs” of the 2.5 decree emission scenario are 3% of the GDP of 2100
The even more rigourous UK Stern scenario amounts to 3.5% of GDP in 2100.

June 16, 2019 2:44 am

Oh, OK the CCC has a home page:

Reply to  Jon P Peterson
June 16, 2019 4:22 am

Yes Jon.
This CCC home page is a frightening example of rampant Groupthink, poised to suck the lifeblood out of the UK economy.

In the Real World
June 16, 2019 3:09 am

A UK parliamentary report in 2016 by the CCS , [who are green biased ] admitted that, just to heat domestic properties without fossil fuels, would require an extra 200 GW of electric generation .
Bit long & complicated but try page 65 .

And then for electric transport , [ private cars & commercial vehicles ] would require at least another 200 GW of capacity .

In terms of power, this would need over 100 new Hinckley C Nuclear power stations at £20 Billion each , & probably the same cost again to upgrade the grid .

So , just 1 trillion is a vast underestimate of what the cost would be for this madness .

And talking of madness , how long before some nutter , [ where are you Griff ] , says it could all be done with renewables .

Reply to  In the Real World
June 16, 2019 6:33 am

Madness? As Griff will no doubt confirm, yesterday in the UK between 9pm sunset and 5am sunrise, even though there was no wind and obviously no sun we managed to generate 120% of our electricity from renewables.

Clearly these are magic products which are unbelievably efficient and anyone criticising them are obviously ignorant reactionaries out to wreck the planet.


Philip Bratby
June 16, 2019 3:13 am

Without knowing exactly how zero emissions will be achieved, it is impossible to calculate the cost.

Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
Reply to  Philip Bratby
June 17, 2019 3:48 pm

At 20 cents per round, dispatching a population of 66 million would cost a mere $13.2 million….plus the hourly rate of the executioners, which, I imagine, would be zero if you put out the right advertisement. That’s the only way to get to net zero CO2.

David Stone CEng MIET
June 16, 2019 3:18 am

The CCC website is interesting, in that the base assumption that climate change is humans fault, and stuff needs to be done to stop it. From this position all you could ever get is spend more money, they do not even consider the evidence!

It says that they consult with Engineers, but I know of no one who has been consulted, and they do not list the advisors at all. Why keep it secret, after all it is our money they are spending? They say they have economist advice, but the whole suggestion is so open ended that a price could never be found, particularly without the Engineers advice.

Strange eh?

slow to folow
Reply to  David Stone CEng MIET
June 16, 2019 6:01 am

“It says that they consult with Engineers…”

The plan is to consult with 10 to 25 year olds:
For the first time, young people will have the chance to shape our future climate policy through the Youth Steering Group. The Group, set up by DCMS and led by the British Youth Council, will advise Government on priorities for environmental action and give a view on progress to date against existing commitments on climate, waste and recycling, and biodiversity loss. They will start their review in July.

Young people’s voices taken to the heart of government with new funding

The British Youth Council will take young people’s voices to the heart of government with new funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The year-long pilot is set to give young people aged 10-25 the opportunity to shape Government policy.

The new funding, will enable the charity to support the creation of a new Youth Voice Steering Group, a Young Inspectors Group and the commission of a new digital engagement research project. The projects form part of the Government’s commitment to encouraging young people to participate in making national policy. The British Youth Council will work with The Mix, Youth Focus North West, Youth Focus: North East and Youth Work Unit in Yorkshire and Humber to deliver the new innovative projects.

Commenting on the new funding, Mims Davies MP, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said “We want young people to have a central role in shaping the future of our society.

Ewin Barnett
June 16, 2019 3:19 am

The larger and more costly such a project gets, the more power government must usurp in order to compel it to be completed, the more it will deny anyone any option to escape it, the more pressure it will apply against anyone critical of it, the more the money that is borrowed to pay for it will become a form of debt serfdom to service in perpetuity. Converges towards socialism far more than towards mitigation of the biosphere.

June 16, 2019 3:27 am

A trillion is too high, acoording to this estimate (i know, on youtube) the GDP of the UK in 2100 will be 8.217 trillion US$.

Using Nordhaus’ 3.5 percent of GDP in 2100 for Stern “abatement cost” gives
3.5 percent of 8.217 trillion is “only” 287.6 biliion US$

Taking an exchange rate of 1.25 US$ per GB£ gives £230 billion.

But if then, these are american billions
“In the American system one billion is 1,000,000,000 and a trillion is 1,000,000,000,000 so one trillion is one thousand times one billion. In the British system one billion is 1,000,000,000,000 and one trillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 so one trillion is one million times one billion.”

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Hans Erren
June 16, 2019 9:42 am

at 2:16, tonyb wrote:
” . . . figures are not understood very well when there are lots of zeros involved.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Hans Erren
June 17, 2019 2:23 am

Hans Erren, the trillion pound cost estimate is a total cost estimate, not an annual cost. According to your own figure, the annual cost will £230 billion per year. This means that you have confirmed that the total cost will be many times greater than one trillion pounds.

Reply to  Bill Toland
June 17, 2019 6:56 am

Bill i have seen your argument coming up frequently, i don’t think that is correct.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Hans Erren
June 17, 2019 11:13 am

Hans, I have simply used your own figures.

Reply to  Bill Toland
June 19, 2019 2:57 am

They are not annual costs.

ivor ward
June 16, 2019 3:41 am

Deben the Boss of the Climate Crazies Club stands to make a lot more money off this.

michael hart
June 16, 2019 3:44 am

Back in the 1980’s, when North Sea oil was keeping the UK afloat economically, we used to get TV programs describing how the “black gold” was the bedrock of modern civilization, that we simply couldn’t function without it.

Fast forward to today and apparently that was never true. It really does make you wonder what kind of crack these people are smoking.

June 16, 2019 3:50 am

On the other hand the cost of climate adaption in the Netherlands is estimated at 580 miliard euros, given that uk economy js a factor 3 larger than nl gives a ball park number of 1740 billion euros, (1950 USD, 1549 GBP)
(560 milliard source )

June 16, 2019 4:36 am

I have spoken to a few people (including some having technical backgrounds) about the possibility of having a hydrogen based system. There is a strangely accepting consensus which seems to be based on a few assumptions which include:
1) We simply use our excess renewable capacity to electrolyse water
2) Appliances will just require a quick burner change (we did it with the change from town gas)
3) The existing distribution pipework will work just fine (ditto)
4) There are cars that run on hydrogen so this must work.

I have tried to point out the reasons why these are erroneous assumptions, but I feel I am banging my head against a brick wall and life is just too short anyway.

It will be interesting to see whether the uhi effect decreases in the UK when we are all running heat pumps.

R Shearer
Reply to  PeterGB
June 16, 2019 5:44 am

In Flint, Michigan they thought they could simply change their water supply and save $millions/year.

Methane is not very reactive toward metals at ambient conditions. It is odorized with mercaptans or other sulfur containing compounds and commonly contains some naturally occurring sulfur compounds as well. Over the years, some fraction of these compounds coat pipes and fittings. Hydrogen on the other hand it reactive. It embrittles many metals. It will react with the lain down sulfur and form hydrogen sulfide, which will can corrosion and pipe and equipment failures.

Reply to  PeterGB
June 16, 2019 6:58 am

The UHI is not from appliances.

Reply to  Jeroen
June 16, 2019 12:28 pm

Not the point, Jeroen. Those UK households not fortunate enough to be connected to the new hydrogen supply grid (yes, this is a sarcastic remark) will have to heat their homes, should they be able to afford to, with heat pumps removing heat energy from outside the property to heat the interior, thus possibly making a small dent in the uhi effect.

Most reading here will realise this is a pipe dream. The extensive renovation required to existing housing stock to get this anywhere close to “working” will include total insulation, underfloor heating and fresh air heat exchangers. All this while our assessed frackable reserves would last well into the next century or beyond.

My comments are occasionally acerbic, my apologies to those who find that my frustration at the insanity before us has caused any of them to be misunderstood.

james feltus
Reply to  PeterGB
June 16, 2019 3:01 pm

“It will be interesting to see whether the uhi effect decreases in the UK when we are all running heat pumps.”

I don’t see that it would make any difference. The heat pump takes heat from the exterior air, and puts it into a building. From there, the heat conducts, radiates, and leaks out of the building, to the exterior air.

Reply to  james feltus
June 16, 2019 3:55 pm

Hi James, a large proportion of the CCC budget for building stock “improvement” is for insulation to a high standard. The uhi effect is thought to be responsible for the increase in minimum temperature measurements, the delay in release of heat energy back to the environment from inside buildings resulting from insulation will possibly decrease the uhi nighttime effect, or at least delay the maximum effect. This might, of course, be offset by the waste heat from the motors driving the heat exchangers.

I have to admit my original statement was made very much tongue in cheek, but the resulting discourse has been interesting.

The elephant in the room will be known to UK residents, especially those living in older buildings who have attempted to draught-proof and insulate. We do not have the benefit of universal integrated HVAC systems which will distribute warm, dry air (or air with a lower RH) round the property when it is cold and wet outside (not unusual conditions!). Moisture is trapped within the building and in the walls, resulting in mould and fungal growth. Without the inclusion of a fresh air heat exchanger to maintain an airflow through the building this would be a serious disadvantage and a health hazard, it is both difficult and expensive to retrofit these systems into buildings.

June 16, 2019 5:07 am

The cost of taking the country to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is Britain itself.

A return to the Neolithic.

Neighbors won’t allow it. A Neolithic nation can’t survive. Other nations will seize the land. Perhaps Ireland will seize it. What delicious irony that would be.

Gerry, England
June 16, 2019 7:52 am

Without any irony at all the Government wants to investigate why British Steel went bankrupt. It is being delayed so as not to interfere with attempts to find somebody stupid enough to buy it. Given that it won’t be economically possible to make steel in the UK much longer anyway, why bother?

June 16, 2019 8:05 am

Well none other than Australia’s ex-leader of the Labor Opposition said you can’t put a figure on the cost so that was good enough for the majority of us. Any other political leaders want to come out like that and say they’ll still go ahead with an exhorbitant fantasy? Join the political suicide queue.

June 16, 2019 8:47 am

Great summation, Andrew!
I am glad to read the good Bishop’s thoughts. I’ve sorely missed your blog.

Net zero carbon dioxide emissions can never be reached by England.
That pushes the cost of achieving ‘net zero’ toward infinity. The closer England approaches net zero, the greater the cost to achieve the next reduction.
A new government agency will need creating. One that polices, enforces and prosecutes carbon dioxide emitting miscreants.

All while the populace suffers.
It might be time to start teaching sheep raising skills to children. That along with ho to plant/harvest foods using flint tools.
Planting a lot of trees might be a good idea, they will be harvestable for firewood in 2050.

Ms. May is unlikely to live long enough to be around in 2050, but it’s a sure bet that at least some of today’s children will be scrabbling for their lives in 2050.

With England’s long dynamic history, it might be difficult to identify where Ms. May’s infamy places her last gasp destructive actions for England. I doubt remembering Ms. May will be treated as lightly as Guy Fawkes day.
One thing is certain, people will no longer need to misrepresent King Canute as an example of leader idiocy; England has an outgoing leader who eclipses every level foolishness misapplied to King Canute.

Johann Wundersamer
June 16, 2019 9:27 am

Interesting times on the British Isles:

“Vince Cable, Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman, said Lord Turner was right to warn that the City might need to shrink and that “defending London’s competitiveness” was being used as an excuse to defend “business as usual”.

“If you are engaged in behaviour that is dangerous to the wider British economy, it is right some sectors may have to contract,” he said.

But Lord Turner’s backers were drowned out by the City reaction. The British Bankers’ Association was among the most trenchant in its criticism. “If we introduce the wrong kind of regulation or the wrong kind of taxes we could so easily lose that position by driving business abroad …On so many occasions in the past the country has lost chunks of industry through making the wrong decisions. Let’s not do that again.””

Bruce Cobb
June 16, 2019 9:43 am

And here I thought that CCC stood for “Committee on Climate Crack”.
My bad.

james feltus
June 16, 2019 1:22 pm

“I could go on, but you will have grasped my point by now. These sorts of numbers, coming out from just a small fraction of the actions the CCC is demanding, suggest that the Treasury’s £1trillion is not only plausible for the outlays required for reaching net zero emissions, it’s almost certainly a gross underestimate.”

If one were to replace “plausible” with “implausible”, in that sentence, the sentence would say what I’m guessing, from context, the author meant to say.

son of mulder
June 16, 2019 1:50 pm

Have they defined what the zero carbon society would be like? Have they quantified what we Brits can do now in terms of function and what we will be able to do in 2050? If it were to be suggested that in 2050 our function count would be the same as today then that would be 30 years with no growth. Who’d vote for that? Will the functioncount of some parts of society be increased whilst the function count of the other part decreased by an equivalent amount? What if we were to assume an approach of fix problems as they occur without a zero carbon option, what would net growth or decrease of function be to achieve our best growth?

June 16, 2019 2:12 pm

There is something to think about tho’ in economics that is worth a minute or two.

If you spend 10¢ to make a bullet, the 10¢ goes to materials, labor, machines, buildings, infrastructure of all kinds. There is a primer, the making of which is a whole ‘nuther industry. With labor, machines, buildings. And there is an underwriting chemical industry to create the heavy metal azides (-N₃ compounds) that convert friction to explosive flame, the miners of copper, tin, lead, bismuth. There are the alloying specialists, the rollers of brass stock, tube, sheet, powder.

The 10¢ bullet is very probably “worth 10¢” more or less. The monies spent on it yield a tangible object — the bullet — which can safely be stockpiled for years, decades … keeping its intrinsic value. But what happens to that bullet when it is loaded in a gun’s chamber, aimed and fired? Where does the 10¢ go?

In the one sense, the 10¢ fired bullet clears a demand-hole for creating another bullet. In another, perhaps a tasty pig is brought down, and the gal doing the ‘unting gets to make bacon and sausage. Perhaps a hole is shot in a distant target, the shooter acquiring shooting skills, likely far in excess in proportion to the 10¢ of the bullet.

THE POINT IS: a trillion or ten trillion dollar super-green-deal plan is like the bullet. The trillions secured and expended definitely ought to “buy stuff”. Not bullets, but green-energy stuff. PV panels, great honking wind turbines. Supports; teams of specialists to install them all; other teams of maintenance people to keep to the upkeep of the panels and windmills.

The trillions are invested in a massive infrastructure reëngineering, the likes of which generate not just millions, but potentially hundreds of millions of whole-career-long jobs, which can keep employed a vast army of (lets admit it, mostly) men with their backhoes, earth movers, cement trucks, rebar fabricators and all the rest in order to secure the “green energy sources” and keel-haul them together to create a huge nominal excess of power … which is vitally needed … to make up for the fact that when a calm night comes, neither wind nor sun will be creating much of any power at all.

I just don’t think though that any truly “green deal” can be done without strategically sizing enough nuclear power to act as the bad-weather / seasonal-demand leveler. We don’t need “batteries” so much as on-demand electable loading (and load shedding) for the most part. A little social planning goes a LONG way in this regard.

Just saying,
GoatGuy ✓

June 16, 2019 4:40 pm

It’s very likely that all the fuss about humans causing the end of the world by using carbon producing energy is a ruse to get everyone behind a global policy to adopt clean nuclear power. Everyone should realise that wind and sunshine won’t be able to muster enough energy to produce and run all those electric cars.

I think these leaders are just frightening people (as usual).
Soon I expect there’ll be a big sell.

But, in a way, I do believe humans effect climate change. In the patent for HAARP, the developer stated that it would be effective in manipulating weather patterns, through the heating up and distortion of the ionosphere.

There are quite a few of these gadgets operating now, and I would expect them to be used to persuade doubters that the climate really is changing fast.

Reply to  McBryde
June 17, 2019 3:52 am

McBryde, currently the fear for nuclear power is still larger than the fear fir global warming.

Reply to  Hans Erren
June 17, 2019 7:49 am

Then I’ll need to wait awhile longer before I buy junior uranium explorers.
I think it will happen, though.

Greg Freemyer
June 16, 2019 7:56 pm

The cost answer isn’t so hard to answer.

The UK emits about 400 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Indigo Ag just announced they are establishing a large scale carbon credit market.

Their goal is to eventually sell a trillion tons worth of credits so selling the UK 400 million a year is something they would welcome. Their goal price is $15/ton so it
would cost the UK about $6B per year just to buy offsets for their current emissions

Here’s Indigo Ag’s information:

June 17, 2019 6:09 am

Net Zero is such weak soup.

UK needs a bold new PM who will demand Net Minus!

Joel Snider
June 17, 2019 9:16 am

And after they count up all their trillions, they can start working on the number of human casualties.

Kind of an on-going Holocaust.

June 18, 2019 1:45 am

… Adair Turner, the former head of the Committee on Climate Change Crony Capitalist Committee (CCC), according to the Telegraph on Wednesday. ”

Fixed it for you.

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