Welcome‎ > ‎Other news‎ > ‎

Opposing Views on Climate Change


Below is a paper which I have just written, on the subject. Roger Arthur

The UK will continue to need a balanced mi
x of energy sources, ranging from nuclear to gas. But majoring on a further rapid expansion of solar and wind power to reduce UK CO2 emissions, without identifying the overall cost and impact, is not good enough. We must surely:
• Strike a balance between energy security, affordability and emissions, recognising that fossil fuels such as gas, are likely to be used for some time yet,
• Avoid raising fuel poverty to excessive levels, while driving businesses (and jobs) overseas, only to see them emit more CO2 than before and
• Focus on cost effective means to minimise energy wastage and pollution, while seeking to better understand the extent to which humans affect climate change.
    Of course the rate of climate change may be influenced by the intensity of solar radiation, the distance between Earth and Sun, plus natural greenhouse emissions.
    So we must continue to refine the models used to predict the interaction between those factors, so that we can focus on measures with the biggest potential bang for buck.
    The UK has already cut CO2 emissions more than most other G7 countries - to around 43% of 1990 levels – with a cleaner electricity mix based on gas instead of coal, plus renewables and a falling demand for energy across homes, businesses and industry.    
    We are told that over £50 billion has been spent on renewable energy in the UK over 9 years. In 2010, UK industrial electricity prices were about average for a western economy but now they are around 28 per cent more expensive. They have increased by more than 160 per cent since 2004 and are becoming increasingly un-competitive.
    Yes renewable energy sources recently provided more kWh to UK homes and businesses on one day than fossil fuels - for the first time. But that neglects the fact that the combined wind and solar kW capacity on some winter days only meets around 1 to 2% of U.K. maximum demand (MD).
    Conventional power and energy storage plant, plus smart grid control equipment, would need to be expanded to meet the other 98 to 99% of power demand - when there is no sun or wind - to cope with the intermittency of new solar and wind power.
    If the date for zero CO2 emissions is brought forward, then the associated annual cost will only increase further.
    But is the associated cost and human impact acceptable when we are only influencing around 2% of human CO2 emissions?
    If the U.K. consumer is expected to shoulder most of the many £ billions in extra cost then that would likely drive even more companies (and jobs) to China, India and the like, thereby increasing global CO2 emissions while putting more UK citizens into fuel poverty? 
    Since around 98% of human CO2 emissions arise beyond the UK, any realistic options for reducing those, such as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), surely cannot be ignored. Such options could have a far bigger impact on global emissions, while limiting fuel poverty in the UK, than another un-costed dash for solar and wind.
    So instead of slavishly following solar and wind targets, which are not fully priced, we must surely understand the overall cost, the impact on our economy, on social wellbeing, relative to global trends, with a better grasp on the relative impact of human CO2 emissions.
    Of course, home insulation, use of heat pumps in newer properties, offer cost effective means of reducing energy usage and CO2 emissions and they must not be ignored. Neither must we ignore the global warming potential of methane emissions.

Response from Marie Jones

Environmental changes have always been so, and always will be, and it's nothing to do with Carbon, carbon dioxide etc. There is no need to do anything about carbon emissions. We should use our fossil fuel while we still have it ( we have enough coal to last generations, and it's easier and cheaper to produce and far safer than fracking, which should be banned. We need to plant billions of trees and prevent further deforestation over the planet....because we NEED oxygen. We and most living things, plant or animal, are carbon based!

Damn right we shouldn't have signed up to this carbon neutral and climate change global warming clap trap!