China has cleaned up its grid, so why is it also making lots of coal power stations

China is planning 100 new coal PowerStation. Given their drive to reduce carbon emissions, and the fact that China manufactures many of the worlds solar panels, this seems to be a foolish step.

China is leaping into carbon neutral power, with around 1/3 green, up from just 28.8% in 2020.

A drought last year has apparently spooked the managers, as they didnt get as much hydropower as was expected.

What is the result? Perhaps China will want all these plants online by2030 when their emissions are supposed to peak, that way the issue is pushed back, with their net zero target of 2060.

Will it happen? I suspect if the Chinese people started to complain it might happen fast. Certainly, it is foolish, as it has already been clearly demonstrated that green electricity generation is cheaper than any fossil fuel creation.

Conservative corruption in the UK? £3.5 million donations linked to pollution and climate change denial

There have been many suggestions that the scientific consensus has not been reached, when it comes to climate change, either to its existence or humans effect on it,

The one debate on climate change, before the last election in the UK, and the Conservatives skipped it
Continue reading “Conservative corruption in the UK? £3.5 million donations linked to pollution and climate change denial”

Is the soft power of the fossil fuel industry slowing our move away?

The first papers linking carbon emissions and fossil fuel burning were released a long time ago. How long ago? Try John Henry of the Smithsonian Institution at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in 1856. Entitled, “Circumstances affecting the heat of the sun’s rays,” the paper was the first research linking increased carbon dioxide with warmer air.

That is 166 years ago!

We recognize that fossil fuels are the problem, yet their paid lobbyists continue to get access to politicians across the globe.

It is true that fossil fuel companies usually have little real power. Instead, they rely on the power they get through donating money to people of influence. How can we break this “soft power”?

What have they done?

  • Spent literally billions on controling the conversation about global warming, and changing the topic of the conversation. For instance what is your carbon footprint? Is something that they have pushed hard – by making everyone think about their own carbon footprint, they move who needs to act, from them to their customers. They also include creating so-called climate solutions, taking tiny percentages of their profits -in an effort to look like they are working for humanity.
  • They have also invested huge amounts into so-called education of the next generation (obviously in their way of thinking).
  • Funding of sports and other things that might influence young people, and in a similar way, arts and culture. Even allowing an oil companies logo to be put on a wall of a museum without explanation is likely to give them a subconscious boost, quite unfair – and something that the museum should never wish to do.
Continue reading “Is the soft power of the fossil fuel industry slowing our move away?”

Thwaites or “doomsday” glacier is disintegrating faster than expected

The Thwaites glacier is an important glacier in western Antarctica. It is already thought to account for about 4% of global sea level rise. This glacier has suffered a rapid retreat from the land shelf in just 6 months – a process that can naturally take several centuries.

The bigger problem that Thwaites glacier currently brings, is the fact that this glacier seems to largely be the dam wall, holding much of the ice back. As a result, while Thwaites glacier can increase water levels by an alarming amount, a collapse is predicted to increase global sea levels by between 90cm and 300cm.

In other words, this glacier alone, with a full collapse, as much as 5% of the worlds population will have to move as their home will be under water. Unfortunately far more people may well find that their way of live is no longer possible.

Regular readers of this blog will remember me mentioning this not long ago, unfortunately the last 6 months has shown the situation to be far worse.

Apparently Democrat voters are not impressed with what Biden is doing for climate change

More than 80% of democratic voters believe that Biden has not done enough for climate change. Now it is certainly true that overall, just 15% of republicans think that Bidens plans are a good idea, while 79% of democrats approve of the direction.

What does this say? Well there are several things to bare in mind. Firstly, as Trump spent the last 4 years lying to his supporters, it is not surprising that they think that what Biden is doing is not necessary. What is perhaps more worrying, is the fact that this is roughly half the population in one of the most highly educated countries in the world – which does not believe in scientific facts, because they were lied to.

Unfortunately, Joe Manchin a democratic senator has been able to block much of the needed action. A new bill which he did support, has recently passed, which aims to cut emissions by 30% (against 1995 levels) by 2030 levels. If this happens then this is fantastic news.

Given a choice between Biden with his hands tied behind his back by Manchin, and Trump who did nothing but make it worse, any sensible person would choose Biden every time.

As funding for climate disasters has risen 800% in 20 years, only half of the funds are coming from the developed world

A quick search tells you that the developed world is responsible for roughly 79% of all historical emissions. What is worse, is that this represents under 20% of the world population.

This means that per person emissions are as much as 16 times more the result of each person living in the developed world than the developing world.

Last year was a case in point. Last year, costs for extreme weather events like droughts floods and wildfires cost an estimated $329 billion, which is approximately twice the total money given by donor nations – in other words, when you take into account the financial damage that our behaviour is causing, the developing world is actually donating hundreds of billions to the rich developed world.

We in the west have had politicians claim for decades, that stopping climate change would cost to much. If we had to pay the full amount, clearly the numbers would be quite different.

A group of former UN leaders is warning our pledges aren’t enough on climate change

Current worldwide pledges on carbon dioxide reduction are no where near enough and would lead to catastrophe.

Last year commonsense was found. It was recognized that global warming of 2 degrees will lead to a horrific situation, and that we need to be aiming for 1.5 maximum degree warming. This has been agreed, but at cop26 the pledges gathered were just enough to limit warming to a maximum of 2 degrees.

Unfortunately, actions taken (those pledges that are actually changing behaviour) fall far behind promises, leaving us on target for 2.7 degrees of warming – the upper band suggests 3.6 degrees of warming is still possible.

Developed countries around the world are not acting fast enough. They are also failing to supply funds promised to help the developing world cut their emissions.

Importantly delay will increase the cost. If we fail to act now, actions in the future could be 10-100 times more expensive


Climate pledges are now high enough to be confident in keeping global emissions below 2 degrees, how to get down to 1.5 or even less

For anyone who has thought about it, the way that limiting temperature rise has been discussed has been ridiculous. Up till now, hitting 1.9 degrees average warming would be a success, allowing 2.0 would be complete failure.

We need instead to recognize that for any reduction in average global temperatures that we are able to achieve, there is a significant reward.

The work is not done, until the human race is no longer adding pollution to the atmosphere.

We need as a human race, to be replanting vast areas of the planet. We need to be cutting our emissions as fast as possible, and we need to be looking for ways to capture and lock away as much carbon as we can.

Carbon dioxide levels is 50% higher than pre-industrialized levels!

Regularly the claim is made that, we may be adding carbon to the atmosphere but we are not changing the number by to great a degree. Well that excuse is now also gone – we have increased carbon emissions by 50%. This means that the planet is entering a condition that it has not been in for millions of years – far before humans arrived.

Why does this matter? There was life back at this time, wasn’t there? Well of course there was. However, last time the carbon dioxide concentration levels were this high, average temperatures were 2-3 degrees higher and sea levels were 15-25m above where they are now. Nowadays 634 million people live 10m above the sea level or less, approximately 10% of the human population – other studies put this number as high as 1 billion. The paper Nature communications 267 million people live on land 2m above sea level or less. Nearly 2 billion live at 100m height or less.

It is reasonable to suppose that perhaps 1 billion would be heavily effected by sea levels rising 25m- needing to move to other countries rapidly. Furthermore places like the UK would get a lot smaller and become more of an archipelago.

Last year there were less than 300 million migrants worldwide, and yet there is a great deal of worry about this. What would it be like if 1 billion people had to emigrate over a relatively short period of time – and this would be permanent – there would be no chance of these people every returning home.

This fails to take account of the fact that there would likely also be a similar number of people who would have to move from parts of the planet which are too hot to support human life any more.

Cutting carbon emissions very fast is now essential, but it is not enough. We also need to be removing billions of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.

Several years ago, I wrote about the Prime minister of the UK fighting against this ‘green C**P’ now they want us to look at them as the saviours of the energy crisis?

Back in 2013 David Cameron did a u-turn on government support for Wind and Solar power generation. This has greatly impacted the uptake of both – and the savings are small and will be dwarfed by the likely financial cost of the delay that they forced on us.

Gas prices have already risen by 50% and are likely to spike further later this year. The chancellor has made small moves to try to stop this (and has recently given up by promising us all money off our bill).

What is scary, is that had the Conservative government of 2013 not done what they did, we would already be generating more clean energy than that which gets imported from Russia.

Labour has pledged a 28 billion fund to lead a green recovery, his homes grant scheme has insulated just 10% of the pathetically small number of homes it had promised to insulate.

The Renewable Energy Association believe that it could build enough energy generation within 18 months to offset the loss of the terrawatt-hour imported from Russia – if obstacles were removed. Renewables are faster to come on line and cheaper than either Shale or north sea drilling.

Bizarrely, the Mail suggests that those fighting fracking are funded by Putin – a clearly stupid idea, as Putin wants fracking stopped so that he can supply the UK instead. Of course these extreme views have never felt the need to conform to something as unimportant as the truth. I would hope, however, that the absurdity of these positions would be so obvious as to make a mockery of them, and give the far right of the conservative party the backbone to do what is needed and ignore the contradictory voices coming from even further right.

We need to move away from gas. For goodness sakes, it is not a renewable resource, so one day the planet will have to survive without it. Lets make that day now, and not require our descendants to learn to survive in a world decidedly less pleasant to those wanting to live here.

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