Tag Archives: Climate Change

CLIMATE CHANGE – THE MISSING LINK

“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented…the atmosphere and the ocean have warmed…snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen and the concentrations of greenhouse gas have increased… Human influence on the climate system is clear…” Climate Change 2013 published by The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

So what is the link between between the proportion of total CO2 emissions that is man-made and global/ocean warming? The IPCC scientists say it is “evident” from the increasing greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere. Other scientists (variously described as realists or deniers) say the human contribution to the overall amount of emissions is minimal. But even if there is a direct link, however tenuous, what can be done without causing disproportionate hardship in a society that is now totally dependent on mobility and the availability of affordable energy?

First of all, it’s important not to confuse the undisputed need to reduce pollution with the ramifications of changing weather patterns. Pollution reduction as an urgent objective is beyond debate but what seriously irks open-minded people is the Global Warming Industry’s habit of claiming every weather event as evidence of the need to reduce living standards and raise taxes.

Apart from a vastly improved strategy for waste reduction and pollution control, what’s needed is a realistic transition from the out-dated creators of energy to a new generation of efficient low pollution technology (unsightly and inefficient wind generators and solar panels are clearly not the answer). The majority of people will support a move to alternatively powered vehicles or the replacement of old coal-fired power stations with state-of-the-art low emission electricity generators – provided they are not confronted with punitive cost hikes in essential commodities or the impact of levies geared to arbitrary, unachievable targets.

Massive increases in the cost of energy and the prospect of power cuts caused by the seemingly shambolic management and communication of this issue (combined with deliberately alarmist predictions) have inclined open-minded people to view the link between climate change and their everyday lives as nebulous at best and probably a political sham – definitely not a vote winner.

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FRACKING AND ENERGY COSTS

The Labour Party has realised that the electorate is seriously concerned about escalating energy costs. It is promising to freeze supplier tariffs for a couple of years if voted back into government.

Apparently, one of the major contributory factors to price levels at present is the high cost of renewable energy required to be used under the Climate Change Act. However, the latest report of the IPPC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) says that global warming is nowhere near as threatening as its earlier predictions envisaged. In which case, a major downsizing of renewable energy targets should be set in motion now with a view to reducing the cost of energy to consumers as soon as possible.

More importantly, let’s deal with the hydraulic fracturing (fracking, shale gas) debate as a matter of urgency. At present, the vociferous anti lobby (and sections of the media) is shouting down all attempts to give the general public an opportunity to make a considered decision on whether to support fracking. The risks need to be honestly set out and understood and convincing assurances need to be provided to overcome any concerns the electorate may have. Equally, the tangible benefits for the average householder of exploiting this indigenous source of energy need to be clearly set out. Incidentally, a similar debate should be held in respect of rapidly increasing the UK’s use of nuclear power.

The answer to achieving lower energy costs isn’t to try and restrict the impact of price movements in the global markets; it won’t work. The way forward is to increase significantly the supply of cheaper sources of energy. The UK currently relies on imported gas and nuclear power to meet its energy needs – not having energy independence is potentially  much more risky than exploiting the nuclear and fracking alternatives and certainly more expensive.

Tell your MP we need some urgent common sense in formulating and implementing a competitive and effective energy supply strategy – and we want it before the risk of blackouts highlighted by the National Grid becomes a reality.