The UK watchdog (amongst many other groups) have concluded that hydrogen boiler is a stupid idea. It is true that its only waste product is water and oxygen, but the cost of making the hydrogen is very high.
Should there be large quantities of hydrogen sitting around, then this might make sense – burning hydrogen is generally a very clean fuel. The problem is, that it is almost impossible to store or transport it without loosing much on route, and it is incredibly expensive to split water – the current form for the vast majority of the hydrogen on the planet. Fossil fuel companies are keen, because their old methods can extract and split hydrogen, but it will mean large carbon emissions as well, so is useless – there is a reason that it is called grey hydrogen. Green hydrogen is the only kind that will give us any profit as a world.
So why is the government supporting the switch (alongside gas focused industry). The department for energy security and net zero stated this week that the gas network ” will always be part of our energy system”. I am not sure why anyone would look at it, given an air-source heat pump is likely to be around price parity, and ground source heating even cheaper.
Installation, at the cheap end will be far cheaper than a heat-pump, but this will be more than made up for over the lifetime of the device. Furthermore, with the grants currently available, you are far better off going straight to a heat pump. This is a waste of time and money, and it would not be remotely surprising, if you had to remove it before the end of its life,as it would be costing too much
The Brexit referendum is now 6 years in the past. The continual calls from Brexiteers for “remoaners” to forget it and get with the program, have been gradually quietened as it has become clear that Brexit was won through a series of lies and promises – promises which have virtually all been broken.
The Conservative Party manifesto for the 2015 general election did say “We are clear about what we want from Europe. We say: yes to the Single Market.”
This was an important point that was made several times before the vote, yet after the vote everyone claimed that of course we all knew we had to leave the single market. While many would argue that it is too soon to see what damage Brexit will do (even though this was often said the other way before) It is clear that we were lied to, in order to leave. Before we actually completed the negotiations more than 50% of the population were expressing a desire to not leave.
These are flights that are totally empty. These flights took place because airports demanded that a certain percentage of take-off slots were filled in order for each company to retain ownership.
Why is this problematic?
The Average plane emits about 53 pounds of carbon per mile, and flies on average 500 miles. As a result, the average flight emits roughly 25000 pounds of carbon per flight. Roughly speaking, an empty plane uses 20% less fuel, so we can say that each ghost flight emitted roughly 10 tonnes of carbon. Over the 15,000 flights that flew empty, that is 150,000 tonnes of carbon – with no purpose except allowing airports to keep raking in the profits.
At a time when we are all trying to cut carbon emissions this is horrendous. Is it a large portion of our countries annual emissions? no, it is less than 1%. However, at a time when everyone is being encouraged to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible this is an absurd waste.
Alarmingly, ghost flights are not only a British thing in many countries around the world they have been a far bigger thing. What is worse, is that this was belatedly recognized by the EU reducing requirements temporarily in the middle of the epidemic.
Things must change – if in the future we have an epidemic which reduces passengers flying to zero, we must also have a reduction in the emissions and flights to zero as well.
Australia seems to have a group of politicians that are totally anti renewable. Australia is perfectly situated to use renewable resources for all their power. When Keith Pitt was asked if he still believed renewables didn’t work – he gave this ridiculous statement. The junior partner in the government is demanding they work towards zero carbon by 2050.
Chartwell lectures needs to be careful. If it regularly hosts people like Matt Ridley and allows him to argue that there are more good impacts from global warming than bad, they are likely to lose their following.
In his lecture he identified the following positive outcomes of global warming, I will take each one and respond
Fewer winter deaths: it is true, that warmer winters could lead to fewer deaths. Unfortunately what has been shown so far, is that global warming makes the climate more changeable. As such, while as an average winters get milder there are more extreme cold periods. This inconsistency far from reducing deaths as is posited, is likely to increase deaths due to cold weather.
An increase in global plant growth: This is not as simple as made out. The accompanying increase in temperature is often a bigger impact on the plant – and in most tests, it has been shown that increasing carbon levels while initially having a surge of growth do not increase output permanently.
Fewer deaths from extreme weather: this is closely related to the first, and it is not true.
He then has the nerve to suggest that blame mainstream media from cherry picking.
It is alarming that these stupid views are still being given the space to be spouted. I hope that space for views like this are pushed out soon, as they are not true.
One would think that during the height of lockdown. that no planes would fly. After all, few people wanted to travel, and many destinations were banned.
Unfortunately no such luck. Why do I say this? Well currently 2.1% of emissions come from aviation (in wealthy countries this is far higher as many poor countries have little or no aviation – in the USA aviation accounts for 3-4%).
With an endowment, to rival a host of small countries, the clout that Harvard should have in terms of divesting from fossil fuels could be vast.
Unfortunately they are dragging their feet. Apart from the bad look that this give, it is also a highly dangerous way of working – there is an increasing concern that many fossil fuel companies will be left holding vast rights to drill will be worthless as they wont be able to sell the oil.
If all cars and lorries go electric (and it is looking increasingly like it will, and faster than expected) this will cut out the bottom of the oil market. Also with kites and sails, ships are increasingly going electric and renewable, and even planes are getting in on the act oil might become less and less useful.
It has already been shown, that it is cheaper to set up a solar or wind farm than it is to continue to burn coal or oil until the end of the powerplants life – as the numbers move even further, it is going to become impossible to ignore.
There is an increasing disconnect between countries trying to do the right thing over global warming and those who are not.
The majority of developed countries have fully recognized the problem and are working towards a solution (certainly now that America has re-joined the effort). What should we do with those countries whose leaders continue to ignore it?
Australia have spent the last few years denying science that shows the earth is warming. I say Australia, I should say the current leaders of their parliament. The view from people in the country is broadly in line with that from elsewhere.
It seems that the period of denying global warming is over. Now we seem to be moving into delaying any need to act.
It does seem to be rather self-serving, if you are putting together a exhibition on the threat that the climate crisis is producing, and you allow one of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world to fund it.
Much of the exhibition talks about carbon capture and storage (something that has not been demonstrated at significant scale, and yet would have to be catching billions of tonnes of carbon per year if it is to have a chance of helping) as well as nature based solutions.
The police cleared the building at the end of the day, ending what had been intended to be an overnight occupation.
It certainly seems that shell is trying to whitewash their company (should that be greenwash) and this should not be allowed. Rather, shell should be spending thousands of times more money on actually solving the climate crisis. Furthermore, ideas like carbon capture should not be allowed to be touted, until it has been demonstrated at scale. Finally, there is another problem. As far as the climate crisis is concerned, any captured carbon should be locked away for millions of years, yet at the moment the majority is either used to help with oil and gas extraction, or is turned into synthetic fuels – neither of these help in any way with forestalling the continued move towards run-away climate change.
A group of investment funds, which collectively manage $41 trillion have urged the governments of the world to truly act on global warming and to bolster their net zero targets.
The group consists of 457 investors, who currently manage almost a third of the worlds assets.. They called on governments to “significantly strengthen” plans for emission reduction – importantly bringing in net zero targets by 2050 or sooner.