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« Energy...debate? | Main | August tip drive »
Monday
Aug222011

Sometimes it's hard to find words

I'm really struggling to put into words just how insane this government is:

Figures from Utilyx, the energy consultants and traders, forecast a 58pc rise in the cost of power by 2020, largely driven by the impending avalanche of green taxes due to come into force over the next 10 years.

The consultants estimate that 18pc of the current electricity price relates to climate change policies – or £15 per megawatt-hour out of a £82 per megawatt-hour average.

There seems to be a quaint theory in government circles that their policy decisions do not actually have any consequences - they are just part of the ongoing public relations effort.

When is reality going to bite?

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Reader Comments (107)

Bish. I know how you feel. I have a thick (no pun intended) file of correspondence I have had with various Ministers over the last 3 years. If you didn't know, you couldn't tell that we had a change of government in the middle of the file. The insane policies have not changed one iota. It is impossible to get anyone associated with government to see sense. They are either too well shielded by bureaucrats, so don't understand the real world and technology, or they are too concerned about their personal positions to do anything that runs counter to Cameron's "greenest government ever" mantra.

I think another hard winter with a few OAPs freezing to death might start to make a difference. Otherwise I can see no hope for the future of this country.

Aug 22, 2011 at 7:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Insanity assumes that the consequences are not the ones intended. When dealing with Socialism, never attribute to insanity what can be explained by malice. Remember Vavilov.

Aug 22, 2011 at 7:45 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

I get the feeling that the course of the world economy will change dramatically before 2020. Whether common sense and order will rule by then is another matter.

Aug 22, 2011 at 7:51 AM | Unregistered Commenterandyscrase

AGAIN - vote UKIP!

Aug 22, 2011 at 8:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterPFM

PFM.
seconded

Aug 22, 2011 at 8:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

Philip Bratby:

Do you think that any members of the current cabinet have tried to argue for some sense over these issues? For example, one might have imagined that George Osborn would be inclined to stand up for the economy just a little bit. Has your correspondence given you any insight into which ministers are worried about the impact of these policies?

Aug 22, 2011 at 8:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

The article in the Telegraph (I did not look at the source document, but it seems and easy forecast to make ... interesting they said "58%" instead of "about 60%") focuses on cost. From their website Utilyx appears to be a company of "financial-types" focusing on "Corporate Energy and Carbon Strategy".

With that ... while costs are important, I'd be interested in seeing the other side of the equation and see to what organisations these costs become "revenue". Need a simple graphic, similar to those which show the flow of energy through the "system", and this time show the flow of cost/revenue through the "system".

Who gets this extra revenue and what do they spend it on?

Aug 22, 2011 at 8:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Schneider

The future isn't as easy as people say. Spare a thought this morning for the authors of the groundbreaking article "Gaddafi Goes Green" in "Green Futures", published by "Forum for the Future" in September 2007. Well worth a read. But quelle surprise! That URL now says "requested page not found". That's what I call futuristic. Here's what I snipped of the comedy in March of this year, thanks to Biased BBC:

He may have written the (misleadingly titled) Green Book, but Colonel Gaddafi hasn’t exactly made oil-rich Libya a beacon of sustainability. That may be about to change. The Libyan government has announced the creation of what it claims is “the world’s first sustainable region”. It’s backed by architects Foster and Partners, enthusiastically endorsed by Sir Nicholas Stern – and directed by the Colonel’s son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. The Green Mountain Conservation and Development Authority (GMCDA) will cover the northeastern region of Jabal al Akhdar (literally, ‘Green Mountain’). This encompasses several of the country’s major cities, including Benghazi, and stretches from the coast inland to a plateau featuring junipers, cypresses and wild olives. According to Norman Foster, it’s “one of the most beautiful and little known landscapes on earth”. The plan calls for the creation of a carbon neutral region, centred around a national park, along with a series of other sustainability initiatives, including:

* Renewable energy generation
* Closed loop water systems
* Sustainable transport infrastructure
* A green local economy, with organic agriculture, sustainable fishing, and micro-credit schemes to help local entrepreneurs
* Ecological and cultural tourism, to exploit the region’s wide array of Greco-Roman archaeological sites (which include the Greek colonies of Cyrene and Apollonia).

Sir Nicholas Stern (who galvanised international thinking on climate change with his eponymous review – see GF62, ‘Stern Stuff’) has given his blessing: “If we are to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change… we need urgently to build new economic and social models of development on a substantial scale. The GMCDA will show how environmental and cultural objectives can help to build a thriving and sustainable local economy in a crucial part of the world.” Among other organisations involved are UNESCO, WWF and the Prince of Wales School of Traditional Arts.

The same Sir Nicholas Stern has no doubt given his blessing to our own 'green' subsidies. And it was in the very area that the Green Mountain Conservation and Development Authority existed that the uprising began. Surely prophetic of other rebellions in other places.

We have yet to see whether the Libyan rebels will be able to set up a viable replacement government in Tripoli. If they do, then some pundits will I think have to admit that our prime minister showed considerable wisdom as well as courage in this instance, certainly in contrast to his counterpart in the USA. I pray he now applies the same qualities to his administration's equivalents of the Green Mountain project.

Aug 22, 2011 at 8:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

We should all be grateful that HMG didn't lend Sheffield Forgemasters that £80million. With this sort of help, they're on their way out anyway. My MP's very quiet on this subject, but was very vocal on Forgemasters. I've forwarded the article but don't expect a response.

Aug 22, 2011 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan_UK

Aug 22, 2011 at 8:48 AM | Rob Schneider

"Who gets this extra revenue and what do they spend it on?"

Going out on a limb here, but I'll bet it is George Osborne and Her Majesty's Treasury.

They do not actually "spend", that implies thinking, no, they just mindlessly hose it up the wall.

After all, it is only OPM.

Aug 22, 2011 at 9:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

An interesting parabola awaits. I was born into a world where central heating was an extraordinary luxury...have lived to see it become a "necessity" and by the time I die...it may well be a luxury again.

It also may well be that a future shortage of resources was always going to have this effect anyway but it does indeed seem "insane" that we are rushing in policies to ensure it will happen early.

Aug 22, 2011 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

I would recommend reading "The Green Mirage" by John Constable of REF. It's available at Amazon for £5.25.

Aug 22, 2011 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I really can't work out what makes you lot tick.

Climate scientists in Hawaii, Russia, India, China, USA and the whole World over, are pretty much in agreement, that AGW is real, and is a big problem.

Basic demand and supply economics suggests that green taxes will reduce CO2 output, but you all seem unified in condemning them.

So what are your suggestions for dealing with AGW that can be done now? Do you have any, or is all this simply a dislike for taxation?

Aug 22, 2011 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Aug 22, 2011 at 7:29 AM | Phillip Bratby

If you didn't know, you couldn't tell that we had a change of government in the middle of the file.
................................................
Quote:

“The current government is authoritarian and not a democratic government.”

This statement was in the press on 10 July 2011.

http://tinyurl.com/3wjvbn6

Heh, Heh, Heh.

Aug 22, 2011 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

A big problem is that climate scientists in Hawaii, Russia, India, China, USA and the whole World over, are pretty much in agreement, that AGW is real.

Syntax is all.

Aug 22, 2011 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

"A big problem is that climate scientists in Hawaii, Russia, India, China, USA and the whole World over, are pretty much in agreement, that AGW is real.
Syntax is all."
Aug 22, 2011 at 10:24 AM | simpleseekeraftertruth

So all the scientists agree, but you know better, despite not having any evidence for this claim.

Do you really wonder why some people find the D word appropriate for people like you?

Aug 22, 2011 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Hide the decline and vote to repeal the Climate Change Act:

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/2035

Aug 22, 2011 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Vote for UKIP!
Voting for UCRAP! Not again, not till they become something worth voting for. As it stands they are worse than the tories as they block the emergence of a genuine eurosceptic party. If they dropped Faraaaaaaage and started punching their weight I'd be happy to support them as I did when they first stood. This is a eurosceptic country, to be unable to ride that tide take a cosmic level of incompetance.

Aug 22, 2011 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterEddy

@Zdb

Please look in your Ladybird Book for AGW Alarmists (abridged edition) and look up today's date. Read the sermon for today and then remind us which terrible AGW consequences we are supposed to be scared witless about this week - and why.

I

Aug 22, 2011 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

The only type of renewable energy that can reduce CO2 emissions to any extent is hydro, and the greens hate hydro. Everything else is either intermittent or of too low an energy density to be usefull. The only alternative to fossils, if you want to reduce CO2 emissions, is nuclear and the greens hate that.

So you can see what the greens are really trying to do.

Aug 22, 2011 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

zedsdeadbed seems to think that crippling our economy whilst emerging nations carry on their entirely understandable development is going to make a difference. It will, but just to us.

Aug 22, 2011 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan_UK

Zed, could you quantify the precise change in the climate that would be averted by all of these measures ?

Maybe you could quantify it into frozen pensioners per degree so we can all see the cost/benefit as clearly as you seem to ?

Aug 22, 2011 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris

ZDB: So what are your suggestions for dealing with AGW that can be done now?

Do nothing for ten years, while continuing to measure all the relevant data. That's the rational approach based on what we know at present. We should certainly monitor the situation. But that's all.

Climate scientists and politicians - and everyone in between - need to accept that they have not persuaded vast swathes of the general population of the need for green taxes and subsidies. When you challenge these people the politicians point to the scientists and the scientists say that they don't know what policies are needed, that they have always said the science is uncertain.

In every place I look there's nothing there at all - except irrational fear. I'm not against all taxes but taxes and subsidies based on irrational fear are I believe particularly dangerous - because they can be extended indefinitely. For the fear never goes away in those that are gripped by it - and for those who wish to use it to gain totalitarian power.

We have a fighting chance, just as the oridinary people of Libya do right now. Another green government goes the way of the Dodo. Who predicted that a year ago?

Aug 22, 2011 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Aug 22, 2011 at 10:08 AM | ZedsDeadBed

Basic demand and supply economics suggests that green taxes will reduce CO2 output

See http://tinyurl.com/5rt4cgy

I know, I know, its the Daily Torygraph, bound to be wrong.

Aug 22, 2011 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

"Please look in your Ladybird Book for AGW Alarmists (abridged edition) and look up today's date. Read the sermon for today and then remind us which terrible AGW consequences we are supposed to be scared witless about this week - and why."
Aug 22, 2011 at 10:42 AM | Latimer Alder

That would be using a text source of evidence.

As you have stated that you're quite happy to make all your decisions based upon anecdotal evidence, then in your case, the evidence that will fulfill all your requirements is "because I say so".

There you go Latimer, you now support those trying to limit AGW through the use of taxation. I expect a robust defence of green taxes from you here shortly.

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

So - I put out a question an hour ago for how you'd tackle CO2 emissions, between you all since then you haven't managed to produce even one single answer. There has however been a lot of, what one would not be inaccurate in describing as, whines.

This is very telling and, by the way, would be consistent with people who's attitude was 'hang the environment and future generations, all I care about is my wallet'. Although that may not be the case with all of you.

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

ZedsDeadBed: "I really can't work out what makes you lot tick...."

Speaking for myself only ... If you haven't already, you might like to have a look at the Hartwell group material (e.g. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27939/) or at Roger Pielke's last book. So, I would agree that for a whole variety of reasons decarbonization is important. But Kyoto/Stern/Monbiot/Huhne/etc? No thank you.

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM | Philip

Thanks Philip - do you actually have any positive suggestions for things that can be done now or in the very near future though? I haven't managed to wring one out of this blog yet.

It's been the internet equivalent of people watching you tring to fix something, telling you what you're doing wrong, and not lifting a finger to help.

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

@zdb


I did not make the assertion you attribute to me.

But I do assert that drinking before lunch is not a good idea....its a slippery slope. And smoking dope at elevenses isn't good for you either. Suggest you repost when dry/clean.

Perhaps you have lent your ladybird book (if you have one) to your friend (ditto). Hence the best spontaneous argument you can come up with is the kindergarten one 'because I told you so'

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

And it will be even worse than the 58pc. Toss in a few minor things like the EU debt solution, the US's GBO (Geithner-Bernanke-Obama) monetary expansion, the shuttering of oil exploration in the US which makes global oil even more expensive, and eve just whatever normal expansion plus you VAT and other insane taxes and you could easily add a zero to that percent. In the digits position. For the non-math folks that would be in the range of five times what you're paying today.
Go Green and Die. But, in your democracy, you can chose whether it's starvation, freezing, heat strokes or just your normal run-of-the-mill riots.

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

@zdb

You haven't come up with any good reasons to do anything at all despite requests to do so. Until you do so, there is no reason for immediate action.

Can you come up with some reasosn? Or is the lack of your Ladybird book an irresistible hindrance to your 'thought' processes?

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

"I did not make the assertion you attribute to me."
Aug 22, 2011 at 11:18 AM | Latimer Alder

Oh really? So what is the evidence on which you were happy to make a decision that birds aren't killed by electricity cables where you live, that isn't anecdotal? I'm pretty sure you don't have any at all. You certainly haven't revealed any.

Apart from that your post seems to be a load of nasty ad homs and accusatiions for which, again, you don't have any evidence.

Lovely people posting here, such a logical, scientific, respectful blog.

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Well Zed, not all "scientists" agree. Take a look at the work done by the Pielkes & Roy Spencer for starters.
Highly suggestive that our contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere isn't & isn't going to, cause major climatic changes.
Also, any changes are going to be beneficial, with a reduction in frosts and a lengthening growing season, expansion of agricultural regions and a general return of the more benign & human-friendly climatic conditions seen during the Medieval, Roman, Minoan & Holocene Climatic Optimum periods.
I do feel that buring oil is a bit of a waste, generation of electricity in the UK, should be primarily by nuclear fission.

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

@Aug 22, 2011 at 11:14 AM ZedsDeadBed

Good morning Zed, nothing to troll about at the DM this morning?

Regarding your comment to Philip, "do you actually have any positive suggestions for things that can be done now or in the very near future though? I haven't managed to wring one out of this blog yet."

Here is a suggestion:-

How about we scrap all the existing windmills and the planned windmills and the Solar subsidies and the vicious carbon taxes? Instead we should build a large number of nuclear power stations.... That will reduce the carbon footprint for you, Mind you if we meddle with the carbon cycle we could well change the yield of our crops and induce shortages of staple foods.
cheers

P

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered Commentergrumpy grandad

"Well Zed, not all "scientists" agree. Take a look at the work done by the Pielkes & Roy Spencer for starters."
Aug 22, 2011 at 11:29 AM | Adam Gallon

There's a reason I state that virtually all scientists agree AGW is the correct theory. We're all aware there are a tiny number of scientists who argue otherwise.

However, enough people, and certainly not with convincing enough papers, for us to think there is anything other than a tiny, tiny chance that they are correct.

To use an old analogy, if you are going to cross a bridge over a high canyon, 99 of the structural engineers you consult are telling you that the bridge is unsafe, but the local undertaker, is telling that it is fine, you would have to be insane to to trust the undertaker over and above all the others.

As this is the case, what suggestions do you have for tackling CO2 in the immediate and very short term? Nuclear power stations, although definitely part of the solution in the medium term, take a while to build.

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

'Climate scientists in Hawaii, Russia, India, China, USA and the whole World over, are pretty much in agreement, that AGW is real, and is a big problem.'

1. Hawaii is a state of the USA, not a country.
2. http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070115/59078992.html
3. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/article1107174.ece
3a. http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_glaciologist-demands-apology-from-pachauri-for-voodoo-remark_1336693
4. http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2007/03/16/the-coming-global-cooling/
5. http://uk.ibtimes.com/articles/163321/20110615/what-happened-to-global-warming-us-scientists-warn-the-earth-might-be-heading-into-a-mini-ice-age.htm


'So - I put out a question an hour ago for how you'd tackle CO2 emissions, between you all since then you haven't managed to produce even one single answer.'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterChuckles

ZedsDeadBed:

I'm afraid I don't have anything original to add. What I get from the authors I mentioned, is that it would be best not to focus directly on reducing emissions, but instead to take an indirect approach, simplistically as follows:

1. Concentrate on massively increasing access to energy for all, but especially in the developing world. Motivated by the general good that would likely result.
2. Individual countries, if they wish, to use a small carbon tax to finance development of viable alternative energy and/or mitigation (CCS) technologies. Motivated by the desire to satisfy #1.

Both of these objectives seem desirable, whatever the reality of AGW turns out to be, and therefore independently of one's position over climate science. The successful outcome of #1 and #2 taken together, is that carbon emissions - and pollution - are reduced and development continues apace. If one accepts this, then one may also feel (as I do) that the extreme views at either end of the spectrum are an impediment to a successful outcome, and that the UK's wind farm developments are an undesirable and pointless distraction from the real business.

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:54 AM | Philip

Philip, rushing out now, but if I get the chance later, and remember, I'll come back to your comment.

Aug 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

It's been said before, don't feed the troll. She comes up with no positive suggestions, no answers and just disrupts things.

She doesn't seem to have responded to suggestions to scrap useless renewables and build nuclear, if she thinks reducing CO2 is necessary.

Aug 22, 2011 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Zed

"green taxes will reduce CO2 output"

But can't you see that current subsidies on renewables are a regressive tax? That they bear more heavily on the poor than the rich? That they are upwardly redistributive? That they transfer money from your granny to Cameron's father-in-law? That they are a Sheriff of Nottingham tax rather than a Robin Hood tax?

Doesn't that make you angry? It should.

Aug 22, 2011 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

I agree that the majority of (climate change) scientists agree that the climate is changing — bit like the Pope being against sin, don't you think? But then the majority of people who contribute to this blog also believe that the climate is changing.
I'm not sure that a majority of scientists believe that this changing climate is going to be catastrophic; in fact it seems that only a relatively small number of what we might call the "usual suspects" have come out publicly to argue that we are all doomed or the sky is falling.
On the other hand, I'm not sure about politicians, political activists, civil servants and large corporations. I don't think more than a very small fraction really believe in or understand global warming, But boy, do they ever know a bandwagon when they see one!

Aug 22, 2011 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Having worked in an R&D environment for 25 years as an engineer (we're the ones who keep notes, remember) I know what garbage the "virtually all scientists agree AGW is the correct theory" meme is. But it's the kind of soundbite that apologists for the 'we're all doomed if we don't do something' school of politcal thought like to throw about.

Aug 22, 2011 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

@ZDB

You have a naive belief in "climate scientists". As an ex-theoretical physicist, I have never seen an area of science more rotten, incestuous, self-serving, exaggerated and weak than current climate science. These "scientists" are making extraordinary claims without the scientific evidence to support them. Some of these scientists are honest. But the dishonest ones make all the noise and dominate the media.

Just to give you a scientific datapoint. We currently have a major experiment called CLOUD going on at CERN trying to understand the role of cosmic rays in cloud formation. The results of this may overturn a lot of what we know. There is therefore no consensus because there is too much that we do not understand. The science is not settled. That is a lie of epic proportions.

Look also at recent papers by people like Spencer or by Lindzen and Choi. These are papers use real experimental data to dispute much of the basis of the global climate models which are used to predict future climate. They show that the current GCMs exaggerate feedbacks.

I therefore have serious doubts that AGW is going to be the massive disaster some people want to portray it as. Negative feedbacks and the logarithmic dependence of the greenhouse effect on Co2 concentrations will minimise its impact. And it might actually be a good thing for winter survivability and crop yields.

If you want a plan, here is mine:
- Adapt to global warming if it becomes a problem. Build sea walls, cooler homes, encourage migration. We have hundreds of years to do this.
- Let the rising oil price drive us to discover and develop alternative energy sources.
Not only is adaptation cheaper, it is also less likely to lead to war - unless you want a world war we are never going to stop the Chinese and Indians and any one else for that matter from burning their own coal and oil. We will just impoverish ourselves.

Aug 22, 2011 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrederick Bloggsworth

The beauty of adaptation is that you do what is needed, not what you think you might need.

Aug 22, 2011 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

You miss a vital point, Frederick.
Spencer and Lindzen and Choi challenge the climate science consensus.
Therefore, by definition, they are wrong.
If CLOUD comes up with "evidence" that cosmic rays may have a role to play in global warming than this, by definition, will be wrong since the consensus has determined that it is CO2 that is the driver of post-modern climate change.
Neat, eh?
If you're right you're wrong and if you're wrong you're still wrong.
Meanwhile a lot of people, starting with some very close relatives of our so-called leaders and working up from there, are making a nice comfy living at the expense of our increasingly impoverished pensioners.
(I only mention this again because until this particular message gets through the governance of the UK will continue to bear (unfavourable) comparison with the grubbiest of third-world dictatorships)

Aug 22, 2011 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Zed'sHead'sDead:

"So what are your suggestions for dealing with AGW that can be done now?"

By my calculations, if everyone in the world took one and one-quarter steps to the North, we'll have counteracted even the worst-case modeling predictions.

Aug 22, 2011 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterbobby b

Almost none of the CO2 placed into the atmosphere by humans is discretionary. It comes from food production, from industry, and from power generation. None can be dispensed with, nor even significantly reduced. You will heat your home and eat no matter what the cost.

Relatively little CO2 comes from transport.

There is thus nothing that can be done. The climate loonies know this too, but they don't care, and are merely lying about it for a variety of motives to do with power, money, control or simply blind religious fervour.

A big selling point for religions is the opportunity to tell people you hate them and that they deserve hatred because God hates them too. This official sanctioning for hating people who disagree with you continues to be a very important recruiting sergeant for the green religion.

Aug 22, 2011 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Mike Jackson 2:05 PM:

I agree with you about the immorality of the government's position. But the leadership of all the main parties have bought into this story, and show no signs of backing off. It seems inevitable that all of this posturing will end up achieving nothing worthwhile, but at enormous economic and social cost to the UK. On the bright side, there seem be some Labour and Tory MPs who take a more realistic and responsible position than their leaders. But which of these groups offers the best chance of bringing change? And how can the rest of us help and encourage them?

Aug 22, 2011 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Incidentally, I note from the weekend press that the new A* A-Level grade is being awarded to about 8% of A-Level candidates. This is almost exactly the same percentage that used to gets As - up until the early 1980s when the quality decline set in.

The effect is that, for practical purposes, we can redefine modern A-Level grades in terms of 'old money' grades as follows:

A* = A
A = B
B = C
C = D
D = E
E = U

It will be recalled that the tariff to read BSc Climate Science at UEA is BBB. Expressed in terms of the above grade mapping, this is really CCC.

This establishment is a significant part of the "authority" from which it is argued that CAGW is a problem. Its entry requirements are, however, those of a rather stupid place for thick and third-rate people from the bottom half of the class. The consensus is in fact a consensus of stupid people.

CAGW people do strike me individually as being excruciatingly thick in much the same way that C of E vicars strike me as being excruciatingly thick.

Is there such a thing as the Argument from Stupidity? "I believe X because I am stupid, and because it's impolite to point that I am stupid, you must profess belief in X too"?

If not, I rather think UEA has invented it. It may be the only thing invented at UEA, but it's a start, I suppose.

Aug 22, 2011 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Justice4Rinka: Even before it gained it's notoriety as a university that has scientists who are more than willing to cook the books to get the required results it was quite widely acknowledged that UEA stood for University of Easy Access. It's true!

Aug 22, 2011 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

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