Extinction Aversion 1214

Man made climate change has appeared to me for three decades to be sufficiently proven, and it has that cardinal virtue of a scientific hypothesis, you can see the things which it predicts will happen, come to pass before your eyes, like being uncomfortably hot in your Edinburgh flat on Easter Monday.

Direct action of the illegal kind is a very important weapon in the arsenal of protest. It represents a challenge to the state’s monopoly of force. While it may appear non-violent, in fact by imposing your body into a space and blocking it off, that is an assertion of physical force. What the Extinction Rebellion protests showed this week was the reticence of the Metropolitan Police in dealing with nice, middle class and largely white protestors. That reticence is to be welcomed; the fact that it is not extended to other groups is what is to be deplored. The alternative is to argue for everyone to get beaten up by Plod equally, which is not a sensible line to take.

I broadly support the Extinction Rebellion protest. In terms of gatecrashing climate change on to the political agenda, they have had a good and entirely necessary effect. Their use of what was in effect force, certainly did some harm in restricting the movement of people around London, and in some cases will have impacted the ability of struggling people to earn their living. It also disrupted public transport systems which are a good thing. But these are minor items if you accept that climate change is whirling its way to becoming an existential threat – and that is a premise which I do accept. The disruption is outweighed by the intent to do a much greater good, in terms of the justification of the people doing the protesting. Whether it succeeds in prompting real action by government and achieving a balance of good, is a different question. I fear we have to get rid of the Tories first.

I accept that climate change is a worldwide phenomenon and action in individual states of limited utility. But individual states can inspire by example, not least by showing that a switch to a greener economy can lead to a major stimulation of economic growth. I do not pretend to expertise in green economics. What follows are rather some homely policy nostrums which I believe should form a part of a coherent approach to green policy.

1) Home Insulation

The Tory Government has effectively abandoned and cancelled home insulation schemes; in effect nothing whatsoever is happening. Yet the government’s own plan to reach committed emissions targets by 2050 explicitly depends on one third of all savings being achieved by insulation in Britain’s existing stock of over 20 million very poorly insulated homes.

There is the clearest case here for government action. The aim should be to upgrade 4 million homes a year. Full funding should be provided to local authorities and housing associations for their stock. Householders should face a legal obligation to bring home insulation up to high defined standards – with generous means-tested grants available from central government funds, which should meet 100% of the cost for all those in straitened circumstances, and a decreasing percentage thereafter based on income and wealth. Private landlords should be forced to comply and self-fund up to the value of four months’ rent, with grants available for higher costs. Failure to comply should lead to the landlords’ property being confiscated by the local council, with tenancies protected.

Those are the broad outlines of a policy which would provide massive employment and contribute to a major Keynesian boost for an economy crippled by years of austerity, as well as make a major difference to emissions.

2) Ocean Energy

Wind energy has made massive strides, and to a lesser extent solar and hydro. But disappointingly little has been done to harness the restless energy of the seas. Government support for research programmes into utilising wave and current energy is pitifully small, given the potentially vast and reliable energy resource available, to the UK in particular.

On tidal energy, those objecting to the Severn or Wash barrage schemes on the grounds of effect on wildlife habitat are failing spectacularly to see the wood for the trees. Of course biodiversity is massively important, but we are fighting a battle in which some resources will need to be sacrificed. The Severn, Wash and Swansea Bay schemes do not require substantial technological innovation – they are basically just low head hydro – and should be pushed ahead as urgent projects. Simultaneously major research funding should be given to innovation. I suspect the harnessing of currents rather than waves would be the first to fruition.

3) Aviation Fuel Tax

Cheap flights are the opiate of the people. I cannot buy in to the argument that aviation fuel tax is only viable if everybody does it. Planes landing can very easily be taxed on any fuel they have in their fuel tanks brought in from third countries. If hub passengers transiting are reduced in favour of fuel tax free destinations, I cannot see that as a bad thing. An aviation hub is a particularly undesirable thing to become, from any sensible environmental view.

Flying is a major contributor to pollution and there is far too much of it. The tax free fuel status that makes flights cheaper than trains is ludicrous. Aviation fuel should be taxed at the same levels per calorific value as road fuels.

4) Expand Rail Networks

Nationalisation and re-integration is of course the sensible prelude to any development of rail transport. The UK is chronically behind most of the developed, and even much of the developing, world in terms of high speed rail lines. This needs to be rectified as does the chronic over-concentration of transport resource on South East England. HS2 should run on to Aberdeen and Inverness, not just be confined to the southern third of the UK.

On a wider note, with demand for rail transport buoyant, re-establishment of many Beeching axed lines should be undertaken with a view to a simple containerised nationwide freight distribution system as well as passenger transport. Rail is far more energy efficient than road. The preponderance of road transport is simply the result of perverse incentive from government policy.

Light rail and tram systems should be expanded in cities. Here in Edinburgh, the poor planning and execution of the start of a tram system should not put us off. Trams should be a local service, not fast and stopping frequently, but rather akin to buses, as in Manchester. They should not be confused as in Edinburgh with an express airport service, with very few and inaccessible stops.

5) Encourage Micro-Generation: Abolish Nuclear

The UK had an immensely successful programme of encouraging domestic solar generation through feed in tariffs, so the Tories cut it, as they cut the less successful insulation grants. Generous feed-in tariffs for domestic generation should be rebooted, while technologies such as heat pumps and exchangers should be zero rated for VAT (as should bicycles).

By contrast, the massively expensive nuclear power projects should be scrapped immediately. I lived almost all my adult life under the impression nuclear energy involved some fiendishly clever technology, until I realised it generates from bog standard steam turbines, and the nuclear part is simply a ludicrously complicated, incredibly expensive and devastatingly dangerous way to – boil water.

The real attraction to governments of nuclear power is the precise reason governments dislike micro-generation – nuclear power promotes a massively centralised security state, and links in well to weaponisation. It is the most expensive electricity of all, and should be immediately closed down.

The above represent my own thoughts on possible short term policy responses to climate change. I acknowledge quite freely that it is not my area of expertise and is perhaps insufficiently radical, and certainly insufficiently broad and detailed. It has however focused my mind on the great economic stimulus that can be gained from wholesale pursuit of the necessary technologies at the government level.

I have deliberately concentrated on unilateral measures rather than international negotiation, because I am sceptical there is sufficient will for progress on the latter or that governments around the world intend to stick to commitments. I have viewed it from a UK not a Scottish perspective because action is required immediately, and Scotland starts from a much better place anyway.

That I am thinking on this at all is in a way evidence that Extinction Rebellion achieved their aim from their immediate action, though it is those in power they seek to influence, not random bloggers. I am very sceptical of their declared desire to “negotiate with government”. If David Cameron were still in power, he would undoubtedly “hug a swampie” and make all kinds of green noises, then continue shutting down environmental programmes. Those around Theresa May are quite clever enough to recommend such an approach, as a potential Tory rescuing image as the party otherwise crashes to electoral disaster.

I would recommend Extinction Rebellion to keep blocking the roads and stay clear of the politicians. If they could refine their tactics to concentrate more on direct action against the big polluters and their financial backers, and move away from shocking the public through inconvenience, that might be tactically good for a while. But on the whole, I applaud. Vigorously.

1,214 thoughts on “Extinction Aversion

1 2 3 4 5 9
  • N_

    I wrote, “Who do you think the Steiner nuts believe Greta Thunberg is a reincarnation of?

    There is certainly an answer to this. (That’s how Steinerites think.) Perhaps there are two or more figures from the past rather than just one. I have an idea who one of them is – a figure from the 15th century.

    We’ll have to watch for how this aspect is crafted into Thunberg’s presentation.

    Her management are also using the Swedish fictional figure Pippi Longstocking. That’s what the hair braids are about.

    This is as carefully orchestrated as Yulia Tymoshenko’s progress in the Ukrainian “colour revolution” ever was. In fact more so. The Thunberg “phenomenon” not only takes big PR influence (the whole PR world is going “wow!”), but given that there is practically no opposition there must also have been a firm diktat not just from one oligarch (such as Jacob Wallenberg who owns Sweden) or even one whole sector, but from the central committee of global big business.

    You just have to look at how “everything” has opened up before this ridiculous young girl figure, this daughter of a royal-decorated opera singer (and Eurovision winning) mother who put her name to a book about climate change – not just parliamentary shows, but the World Economic Forum (Davos), the Vatican, the United Nations – to realise this is big and it’s rising. It’s populist too.

    When the World Economic Forum helps promote a person who calls for a general strike, bells should go “ding dong” in people’s heads.

    In their St George’s Day editorial, the Guardian help out with the campaign as follows: “Nobody could have predicted that a Swedish teenager would shift the terms of the global climate debate in the way that Greta Thunberg has done. Since she began her school strike in Stockholm last August, Greta has addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, the European parliament and the UN climate talks in Poland. Last week she met the pope in Rome. On Tuesday she met UK political leaders at the House of Commons.

    An opera or theatre critic would be embarrassed if they were ever so fawning.

      • glenn_nl

        You do keep coming out with these sly (and fact-free) insinuations. Being quite the little universal expert, I’m surprised you haven’t got the entire case laid out. Your slurs and innuendo will doubtless have to be good enough in the meantime.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          No I don’t buy Greta Thunberg and the whole show either. The demo didn’t get kettled and the vampire squid is on board.

          • Alyson

            900 plus law abiding citizens were arrested, manhandled and held in custody, to pee in a bucket under camera. Some police supported the demo, but others treated the good folk with their usual vigour. It is surprising that the ultra wealthy have given her their blessing, but the facts are sobering. We must stop putting diesel in our cars. Orangutans will be extinct in less than 10 years from palm oil deforestation, and this is heart breaking for anyone who has seen the killing by bulldozer or deforestation. Every bird, animal, reptile from the rainforest dies for palm oil for our green diesel, not forgetting to mention fatbergs in our sewers. Frackpads leave a wasteland after their brief yield of sellable gas, leaching toxins into the water table, and endless methane which is a runaway greenhouse gas. The conversation needs to be had. Governments need to wake up. Hydrogen fuelled public transport is becoming more widely developed. Hybrid or plug in cars are better for the environment and a priority of making car and lorry free routes in and out of big towns and cities would get more bicycles and mopeds out on the road. Sure some companies plan to make a profit, and being big buddies with Saudi has clearly had its downside, but the green welly brigade are defending the land for sustainable agriculture for future generations. And that can only be a good thing

      • nevermind

        As an ex Green member I had a discussion with a few XR people before they drove down London in hired buses. I said that I would not take part in anything other than local actions, to which they said that in order to get recognised they would have to do it in London.
        My question was to the organisation that decided to follow the old mantra and rebell in London, come from all over the place in wholly unsuitable polluting vehicles to remonstrate our common cause.
        The same answer was that to achieve something you have to be in London.

        London is highly populated and can muster enough demonstrators/rebels/protectors itself and its about time that we coordinate actions everywhere, not just in one place but in twenty thirty places at the same time, all the time it takes.
        It would ensure that local people everywhere get mobilised, that we would not pollute, do what we despise, that we would be highlighting the poor state of local policing, and that we could achieve something like a stand still of economic activity.

        Further, to do any actions that involve modern communication is the equivalent to shouting it down from the mountains, apart from the time and date, nothing should be diverged on social media/ phones or other insecure communications, word of mouth eye to eye meetings with people you know and writing old fashioned letters should be enough to achieve an action that surprises and does not pollute.
        For example, when the BGG was still a thriving fair, NGO’s were welcome to attend, there was much networking going on between them and actions planned in advance, actions that were highlighting pollution, and which tried to stop the relentless madness of road building/GMO’s and other important issues to people.
        The one diesel vehicle that people could use to travel into London/Birmingham,Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh/ Liverpool/Sheffield/Oxford etc. etc. is a tractor, with a massive deep plough attached, it takes only one little hole to make into a road surface for a tractor to plough up a road, this would stop a lot of pollution for a while, and create a little area to sow carrots plant flowers, trees etc. Which road to choose is up to locals.

        I’d rather pay for repairing a road, than to carry on with a futile vocal rejection of unsustainable deliberate pollution to which politicians merely shrug their shoulders.

    • mog

      re Pipi Longstocking

      She often makes fun of unreasonable adults….
      …the self-proclaimed “strongest girl in the world,” Pippi often uses nonviolence to solve conflicts…
      …witty to the point of besting adult characters in conversation….
      ….Despite periodic attempts by village authorities to make her conform to cultural expectations of what a child’s life should be, such as unsuccessfully sending her to school, Pippi happily lives free from social conventions…..
      …Pippi was named by Lindgren’s daughter Karin, who asked her mother for a get-well story when she was off school…. [Greta’s mother recently wrote a book inspired by Greta’s campaigning]


    • mog

      ‘Dagaz’ or DAEG rune (XR symbol) translates to ‘dawn’. Symbolises new beginnings, surprisingly enough.

      But don’t worry, I am sure that a whole new emergent paradigm being decided by a 16 year old girl in discussion with the CBI and central banks under the banner of runic script is for the best.

  • Kempe

    Closing down the UK’s nuclear power stations would leave an 8 MW capacity shortfall in a system which already struggles to meet winter demand. Even on days when solar and wind are running at full capacity it would be necessary to burn more gas and coal to meet demand. In short it would worsen CO2 emissions.

      • glenn_nl

        Trouble is, RoS, “carbon capture” has been just around the corner for a couple of decades now. It’s iffy at best, and the idea this is going to come to our rescue and allow clean energy (particularly from coal) would be laughable if it were not so serious. It does manage to capture and eliminate without trace vast amounts of money, though, fair play.

        • Republicofscotland

          Well Glenn according to this its already in use in some countries.

          “After the success of their pilot plant operation in November 2011, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company moved to create the first commercial CCS facility in the iron and steel industry.[96] The CO2, a byproduct of the iron making process, is transported via a 50 km pipeline to Abu Dhabi National Oil Company oil reserves for EOR. The total carbon capture capacity of the facility is 800,000 tonnes per year.”


          • Nemico

            So we dig either raw carbon (coal) or hydrocarbon (oil), use oxygen from the atmosphere to burn it, and bury combined carbon and oxygen (CO2) into the ground. Hm, sounds like a solution of one problem which creates another, more serious one.

    • mog

      8 MW ?
      Are these the kind of nuclear reactors like the one on the Delorian in Back to The Future ?

    • Clark

      Agreed; the existing nuke stations should continue to run for their designed lifespans. Meanwhile, we need to build continent-scale HVDC electricity grids of >20GW capacity to replace them.

    • Loony

      No need to worry then. The UK has 9.300 MW of installed nuclear capacity – so if closing it down would only lead to an 8 MW capacity shortfall then surely all could be resolved via bicycle generation by climate change activists.

      Or maybe your numbers are wrong -but hey who cares about about numbers when the future of the planet is at stake.

      • Robert

        Not all of the 9,300 are in service at any one time – some are down for maintenance, some are run at reduced output so’s to get longer life.

  • Doomsday Prophet

    I’m happy to hear your thoughts on the environmental collapse currently underway, and glad that someone as influential as yourself is drawing attention to the issues. I particularly welcome your comments on micro-generation.

    It’s probably too late. I’ve been a passionate believer moving to a sane and sustainable way of life since I was a child (I’m now a grandfather), over the years I have learned a lot about the issues. Not enough people were interested then and not enough are interested now. Even those such as yourself who mean well seem unable to grasp the scale of the problem and the scale of the action required to mitigate it. I have said since the 80s (or perhaps the early 90s) that the eventual solution for climate change will be climate change, that it will lead to the collapse of industrial civilization and then the planet may begin to recover. I didn’t expect to live to see the collapse, but now I’m not so sure.

    The solutions you propose are too little too late. You suggest an aviation tax for instance. This is inadequate in two ways…

    Firstly ALL AIR TRAVEL MUST CEASE NOW, it should have ceased decades ago. Flying in airplanes makes individuals complicit in the worst crime in history, much worse than those committed by the Nazis or the Stalinists or by the Khmer Rouge. Omnicide is an order of magnitude more reprehensible than genocide, and an inability to face the truth does not absolve. This may seem like an extreme position to take, but I would point out that an Aztec may well think that insisting on an end to child sacrifice was extreme. What you are arguing for is comparable to indirect measures taken to fractionally reduce the amount of children sacrificed each year. Sacrificing children doesn’t lead to an uninhabitable planet, so I’d argue that flying in airplanes is worse.

    Secondly, an aviation tax is predicated on the continuation of an economic orthodoxy that may well be leading to the end of all known life in the universe. While I am prepared to concede that money has been and may well still be a useful tool, it’s also part of the problem. Money is an abstraction of reality, but one that people often believe is part of reality, or that is is such a perfect abstraction that it may be treated as if it is real. Trying to fix a real problem by tinkering with an abstraction of the problem is doomed to failure. I would urge people to stop thinking about costs that are denominated in anything other than environmental impacts and quality of life. God’s law supersedes man’s law.

    Furthermore, you propose investment in rail travel. I would probably have agreed with you ten years ago, but this is also insufficient. What is required is a restructuring of society in such a way that long distance travel is no longer required, commonplace, or easy. Our species needs to expend energy extremely frugally as a result of earlier profligacy. I came to the conclusion decades ago that a harbinger of our society taking energy usage seriously would be an end to street lighting, this shows no sign of happening so I’m pretty sure we’re still in cloud cuckoo land.

    As you may guess I could write at much greater lengths on these issues, but it is my experience that people don’t want to hear what I have to say. I will however make one final point. It is futile to try to persuade out political stewards or corporate administrators to change their ways, they won’t change, it is simply a way to offload blame to others. Each and every individual is responsible, should do all they can to avoid being part of the problem, and should express scorn and derision towards those who stubbornly persist in unnecessary ecocidal behaviors. To claim that we must wait for “those in power” to act denies our own agency, and is an admission that we are merely human livestock who live at the whim of the princes of the world, it is to say: “I am not responsible for my own actions, someone else is”. I am a free man, I am my own sovereign, and I take responsibility for myself.

    • Aloha

      Doomsday, sounds like you and I have walked a similar path and never thought we would be here to witness it, but here we are. I am going to state for the 1k time that until we shut down the MIC (yesterday) all living things still here on this planet will continue to die at an alarming rate and yes it won’t be long before we are extinct once again. The game is up and the .01% richest might live for awhile longer but will be very sick. I would hate to be a child in one of those “families”, growing up only to realize that a parent of mine is killing everything in this world for $.
      An interesting article on MIC and pollution across the globe that I have linked below. “U.S. military bases, both domestic and foreign, consistently rank among some of the most polluted places in the world, as perchlorate and other components of jet and rocket fuel contaminate sources of drinking water, aquifers, and soil. Producing more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. chemical companies combined, the U.S. Department of Defense has left its toxic legacy throughout the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides, defoliants like Agent Orange and lead, among others.”

      • Doomsday Prophet

        Thank you for your words of support, they are appreciated. I must confess I expected my comment to be met with a mix of silence, disbelief, belligerence and ridicule, so it is particularly heartwarming to find the first reply is (for want of a better word) positive. Thanks also for posting such a pertinent and informative link, it seems fitting that the organization charged with protecting the current destructive system is itself the world’s largest polluter.

    • Loony

      What a shame that you only trace your own awareness of environmental matters back to the 1980’s “or perhaps the early 90’s”

      If only you could take a step back to 1970 and the first “Earth Day” then you would recall that according to Stanford University then by 1980 between 100 and 200 million people would be starving to death each and every year.

      Alternatively perhaps you are persuaded by Life Magazine who in 1970 predicted that by 1980 all urban dwellers would be required to wear gas masks in order to survive air pollution and that by 1985 pollution would have cut the amount of sunlight reaching the earth by 50%.

      • Grhm

        Those predictions (if indeed they were made seriously) were obviously wrong, then.
        So what?

        • Grhm

          No idea, but it’s obviously not any where near the number in that alleged prediction from 1970.
          ‘Loony’ seems to be making the fatuous point that because some predictions have been wrong in the past therefore all predictions are always wrong.
          Even if that weren’t in itself clearly nonsense, he or she is disregarding the fact that science has progressed in the intervening 49 years.

          • Loony

            It is not an alleged prediction – it is part of the historical record that can be checked and verified. Time Magazine and Stanford University both keep records.

            Most predictions are fatuous – so why not look at some real data. Data pertaining to the Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland for example. Between 1996 and 2016 the glacier shrank in size and this fact was widely used to corroborate the proposition of man made climate change. Since 2016 the same glacier has been growing – which is the precise opposite of what the scientific consensus predicted.

            According to your own argument the more recent the data then the more reliable it is because “science has progressed”

          • Grhm

            OK, we’ll look at some real data if you like:
            In terms of global average temperature, all five of the hottest five years on record have occurred since 2010.
            The proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere now is 144% higher than it was before the industrial revolution – i.e. it is approaching one-and-a-half times what it was then – and it is at the highest level it has been for at least 800,000 years. (Homo sapiens has existed for less than 400,000 years.)
            As for that monster glacier you mentioned, which is described as ‘the cork in the bottle of Greenland’s massive interior ice masses’, it is the exception that proves the rule: its melting has slowed because of well-understood changes in ocean currents. But that is only a short-term effect, unfortunately: when the currents change again, the glacier is expected to melt even faster than before.
            I admire your determined contrarianism, Loony, and I truly wish you were right and that 97% of climate scientists were wrong.
            But, sadly, all the evidence shows that you are putting hope before reason.

            Sources (please do read them!):

      • Doomsday Prophet

        I suspect you’re trolling Loony. You have selected an instance where I say that I reached a specific realization at a specific time and you then assert that I must therefore be unaware of anything before that time. This is not the case.

        I commend the comment by Grhm below that points out that your re-stating of past inaccurate predictions does not invalidate all predictions.

  • Muscleguy

    Craig, council houses very local to me here in Dundee, they are just along the road have been are being and will be externally insulated. Dense foam external insulation is being clad over the harling and sealed. I work with the long term unemployed and one of them from the last group related how insulation of his flat building means he hardly uses heating any more. This in the middle of last winter.

    As is par for the course no boards are up detailing the funding sources but just like the roofing etc renewing of sheltered council elderly housing recently was funded by the EU so it would not surprise me if ScotGov has accessed EU funding for this. It might be a final desperate fling before such funds dry up (assuming no Independence) but it is proceeding visibly in more than one part of Dundee. I’m sure the tenants of those homes will appreciate the reduction in their energy bills.

  • Clark

    Greetings from the London Rebellion!


    – As XR UK begins a moment of reflection (however long or short!), rebellions across the world continue to thrive. To give just a taste: we’ve seen a disco in Denver, glue-ons in Chicago, the exciting arrival of XR Pakistan and XR Austria, and outreach events in Uganda and Ghana. Like in London, XR Australia has also made space to take stock, and XR New Zealand remains as subversively/submersively creative as ever.

    – Before any other news, we would first like to pay our sincere condolences and respects to the family and friends of Polly Higgins, who recently passed away. Our cause is her cause. She remains an inspiration to us all.

    Sorry, few details from me; after eight days living in a tent on the Marble Arch traffic island I’m utterly knackered. Just sign up with Extinction Rebellion and do something to help mitigate this environmental crisis.

    I haven’t read this thread, but I expect it’s full of extinction denial conspiracy theorists. Fools; learn to read science papers – or just use your senses.

    Craig, thanks for the exposure. We need governments on board for their international influence. This is urgent; the Arctic icecap is melting away twice as fast as predicted by the IPCC. We need cutting-and-burning of the forests stopped, and the rich countries need to subsidise the others. There is no Planet B.

    • glenn_nl

      Greetings Clark! But didn’t you hear? The whole thing is a scam – you’ve been duped mate.

      Sorry to break it to you, but you’ll hear from N_ and so on (that very peculiar bigoted self-proclaimed “Marxist”) that Greta Thunberg is seriously up to no good. See at the top of this very page – what more proof do you want than N_’s say-so? Facts not needed here. And if you want more proof, why, N_ has quoted N_’s own question to back it up.

      We’ve had the usual weak denialists and whataboutary all day, nothing that would surprise you, other than how firmly they value ignorance and industry-sponsored deception.

      Did you hear any novel theories from the demo, on why denialists hold so steadily to their falsehoods? Fear? Simply contrarians, who like to think they have alternative facts that make them clever? Religious dupes? I’d be interested.

      • mog

        It’s not only denialists who are questioning the Greta narrative. In fact the best research comes from anti-capitalist climate activists.

      • Ken Kenn

        There’s nothing wrong in being scared.

        CND was very big in the Eighties and as a Leftie I was pretty scared let me tell you as the rhetoric of War could easily have become fact.

        According to experts ( who listens to them – these days ? ) the current nuclear war situation is worse than then.

        So – we could save our planet and then proceed to blow it up a few times over – later or earlier depending on the politicians.

        This reminds me of the theory as to who we disarm first? – The gunman or the poisoner?

        Nukes are the Gunman and we have allegedly twelve years to get our act together to stop the poisoner.

        We can do both – but we need the politicians in power to carry out the wishes of the people which is the understandable notion that we don’t want to die.

        The likes of Bolton will emerge from his nuclear bunker post nukes and point his finger at a pile of ashes and declare- ” We now own all of this. ”

        Only an inhuman idiot would think that’s a good thing.

        Bolton and his acolytes are idiots but I’m sure the rest of humanity are not.

        these are both clear dangers and we need to deal with them otherwise human existence is done for.

        By the way – the world will still turn and exist whether we are here or not.

        Nature has no favourites.

        • Clark

          “we have allegedly twelve years to get our act together to stop the poisoner.”

          We had twelve years to ramp down greenhouse gas emissions by 40 or 50% (I forget) to stand a 50/50 chance of keeping global average temperature increase below 1.5 centigrade – but that was last year. In the intervening year greenhouse gases were released faster than ever before. So now we have eleven years to get them down by 60%, and next year we’ll have ten years to get them down by 75% or whatever; it just gets worse and worse.

      • Clark

        Oh I think I understand the denialists Glenn; somewhere deep inside, they feel guilty that our comfortable lifestyles have all but trashed any chance of a decent future, but rather than cope with the grief they rationalise into denial.

        But they’re an endangered species. Tears and grief are welcomed at XR, not ridiculed, and everyone helps everyone else to cope; it truly is a humanitarian revolution the likes of which I have never felt before.

        Hey, we even had our own conspiracy theorist, apparently modelling himself on Alex Jones, complete with megaphone. He hasn’t yet dared to post any of his videos with me in them:


    • Loony

      An interesting list of places – but maybe lacking in some detail. Let me help you out.,

      The US has 256 GW of installed coal capacity.
      Pakistan has about 5 GW of installed coal capacity.
      Austria has less than 5 GW of installed coal capacity
      Neither Uganda or Ghana has installed coal capacity
      Australia has around 25 GW of installed coal capacity
      New Zealand has just under 3 GW of installed coal capacity/

      China, by contrast, has 981 GW of installed coal capacity. You may note that this is a much larger number than the total of all of the countries that you choose to reference.

      You can live in a tent in Marble Arch if you want – but for so long as stay hiding from the Chinese then you are nothing but a joke.

      As for the all pervading evil that is the UK then its peak coal consumption occurred in 1956 when it went through 244 million tonnes, Today it gets through about 15 million tonnes. India by contrast gets through about 826 million tonnes of coal per year and consumption is increasing at a compound growth rate of over 5% per year.

      Try telling the truth!! Extinction Rebellion is all about the extinction of Chinese economic power and the extinction of 100’s of millions of Indians.

      • pretzelattack

        the chinese factories make products for the american and european markets, so that responsibility isn’t nearly as neat as you claim. you also ignore the question of what we should do about reducing emissions, probably because you also are a “skeptic” about the science.

        • Loony

          Take a look at cars.

          In 1985 China produced 5,200 cars and imported a further 106,000 cars.

          Today China has the largest fleet of motor vehicles in the world with some 235 million cars. China is also the worlds largest manufacturer of motor vehicles with annual production standing at around 18.4 million.

          There is a very big difference between 5,200 and 18,4 million.

          If you want to reduce emissions then you 100% need to go after China. It is far from clear that this would work because at some point the Chinese would likely respond with a nuclear strike – which would be more immediately harmful than rising emissions.

          Not all problems have solutions.

          Only an idiot would waste their time blocking traffic in London – if those people had any real conviction then they would be going up against the Chinese police. The fact that they are not doing this (and have zero intention of doing this) tells you far more than you need to know about them.

          • Observer

            “Only an idiot would waste their time blocking traffic in London – if those people had any real conviction then they would be going up against the Chinese police. The fact that they are not doing this (and have zero intention of doing this) tells you far more than you need to know about them.”


            More often than not, Loony you do get it right. And I for one appreciate your arguments backed up with relevant statistics. Thank you.

          • glenn_nl

            L : ” if those people had any real conviction then they would be going up against the Chinese police.

            Why don’t you tell that to your far-right Evangelical mates?

            Instead of harassing people at hard-pressed family planning clinics in the US and sometimes the UK, I would be much more impressed if they did the same in China. Of course, you’d never suggest such a thing, because you (and they – to a person) are an utter hypocrite.

    • SA

      There are also two very important peaceful popular uprisings in Sudan and Algeria that do not get much coverage and they seem to be succeeding slowly so far. I urge fellow posters to find more about these which have so far not been highjacked by the colour revolustionisras if usual suspects. Recently supported by Hammond and US are unwelcome and hope those two countries keep out.

  • ADKC

    It is obvious that “Extinction Rebellion” is a fake protest funded by big money and supra-national interests. Does anyone really think that the Police would be so “gentle” if it was a real protest? “Extinction Rebellion” seem bizarrely concerned that “ordinary” people are being arrested. Arrests seem exaggerated; I imagine very few, if any, will actually be convicted. In fact, everything about the protests is fake, exaggerated, made-up and mis-leading; it’s just a load of recycled tropes – risk-free protest is not real protest – it’s very much like Orwell’s authorised two-minutes of hate.

    The government gets a distraction, the Police get to make the case for more powers because their “hands are tied” (good grief), no practical progress is made, nothing is achieved, none of the real polluters are affected (in fact, they probably funded the protest to put the blame on the “individual”), Greta Thunberg gets used, government gets a propaganda win for engaging in dialogue, newspapers and TVnewsreports get pre-prepared non-controversial, authorised fake protest stories that aren’t going to rock the boat. Scripted from start to finish.

    “Extinction Rebellion” is so fake that it is damaging to the cause of taking effective action and steps against man-made climate change.

    • J

      Reading between the lines I see that the Koch brothers are playing 5D chess as defenders of the natural world.

    • Clark

      Er, maybe even the top cops and the richest people / corporates don’t want their kids to die young or cope with a billion displaced, hungry people?

      Yeah, I’d spotted the cooperation. The police perform their arrest cycles when there’s maximum publicity. The cops have more sense than the Tory party; you’re surprised?

      • ADKC

        The police do not oppose or act against the government – what happened was clearly absolutely fine with the government.

        Protests are meant to oppose something – what happened was more akin to an approved rally held in a one-party state – it is not meant (or going) to achieve anything as regards tackling man-made climate change.

        The richest people / corporations are responsible for man-made climate change.

        • Clark

          The UK government was in recess, as it goes.

          You don’t get it. The police like us, because we’re non violent. Dealing with us makes their shit job considerably less shit; a week of non-violent direct action and not one single police injury, plus they got to hang around at our raves in Oxford Circus:


          Word has it that they’re using XR as a bargaining chip for increased budgets and pay rises. Hey, I’m not complaining.

          • mog

            What about all those times where peaceful demonstrations were deliberately provoked or infiltrated by agent provocateurs with the intention of turning them violent and hence discrediting them ?
            I’ve been in protests where exactly this has happened, and know of several more.
            Do you think that the police just follow their own interests, or are they the ‘physical force of the state’ there to hold the line and enforce public order and control of state power?
            If the authorities in London really wanted to get XR off the streets, there is plenty they could have done to get them off sooner.
            Many protesters testify to the belief that many police officers share some ideological sympathy with their cause. Whilst this is no doubt true, the nature of the police force is extremely hierarchical and disciplined. They still have to follow orders.
            From the outside it looked more like spectacle than protest or ‘rebellion’.

          • ADKC

            The Police have openly called for more powers on the basis of this fake protest.

            “Credulous people can often be easy targets for scams.”

          • nevermind

            They liked us? Are you sure Clark?
            My take on that is that they were told to be kind as there were very young children and very elderly people involved. They did not like other NVDA activists demonstrating against the expansion of Heathrow,
            Twyford Down, Newbury, Batheaston bypass, M11 extension.
            I have seen a high ranking police inspector turn around as young woman were sexually assaulted right next to me in Winchester, saying that ‘he could not see anything’ after I told him what is happening right next to me.
            To explain, this young educated and determined woman and myself were shackled to a bulldozer to stop it working, whilst a Group 4 hired thug was touching her breasts, to make us take our locks off and repent, one wonders what he would have got away with If I was not standing next to her, the bastards

          • Clark

            Nevermind, the Metropolitan Police have definitely been very friendly and supportive, the City police occasionally more hostile. I expect that the Met have a lot of more enlightened officers. But XR are making a big effort to be friendly towards the police; XR’s attitude is consciously and deliberately inclusive and non-confrontational. And maybe attitudes are changing and the population in general is realising that they have been misled by the corporate media for so long that the dangers of environmental damage have become critical.

    • giyane

      Anti Deep Kentucky Chicken

      Yes Easter was a bit boring without brexit and ISObama State. Like Eastenders and Corrie going off air at the same time. Oh! They’re back.
      Phew. I was so bored I attacked the last remaining window in my kitchen and broke health and safety rule no. 2856349028.

    • Dave

      Yes its done to add some popular support to the all the scientists agree meme. Except those protesting don’t practice what they preach and all the scientists don’t agree, particularly as nearly all are not climatologists and so no more qualified than a non-qualified layman to comment on the subject.

      2+2 = 4, but how can I say that with any authority as I’m not a qualified mathematician, but I can because its elementary. The climate scam is elementary, because man made emissions of carbon dioxide is a tiny fraction of natural and variable emissions of carbon dioxide which itself is a tiny 0.04% of the atmosphere, but nevertheless essential to life on earth.

      Instead of addressing this elementary point, you’re just repeatedly told all the scientists agree, which if true, it isn’t, means they can’t grasp the elementary point, which is impossible to believe, hence why in truth they all know its a scam.

      • Clark

        Here’s the Keeling CO2 concentration curve:


        See its zig-zag shape? Those are the yearly “natural and variable emissions of carbon dioxide” to which you refer above, the annual fall is carbon capture by vegetation growth.

        “carbon dioxide […] itself is a tiny 0.04% of the atmosphere”

        Greenhouse gases effectively ‘colour’ the atmosphere in the infra-red range, converting photons of a specific frequency range into heat, just as coloured glass does to visible light. Tell me, oh clear thinker to whom such matters are ‘elementary’; what concentration of colourant is used to give methylated spirit its characteristic purple colour? Much more than 400 parts per million, presumably?

        – Completely denatured alcohol must be made in accordance with the following formulation: with every 90 parts by volume of alcohol mix 9.5 parts by volume of wood naphtha or a substitute and 0.5 parts by volume of crude pyridine, and to the resulting mixture add mineral naphtha (petroleum oil) in the proportion of 3.75 litres to every 1000 litres of the mixture and synthetic organic dyestuff (methyl violet) in the proportion of 1.5 grams to every 1000 litres of the mixture.


        That works out at less than two parts per million. Why did you ignore me last time I told you? –


        Why did Blunderbuss ‘agree’ with you yet ignore your elementary error? – Blunderbuss claims that CO2 concentration is so high that further addition can’t make any difference, as did Angstrom.

  • mog

    Make no mistake, XR is about trying to kick start ‘green capitalism’. It’s new business site reveals the (presumably pre prepared) conglomeration of ‘rebellion’ leaders and venture capitalists.
    The XR Business site, however, is a declaration of Rebellion Extinction. This is now officially an ex-Rebellion, shorn of all pretence of radicalism.

    As the eco-activist Judi Bari put it: “There is no such thing as green capitalism. Serious ecologists must be revolutionaries”.


    • Clark

      No, the XR activists aren’t about that. Hey, someone bought our pink boat and the truck that helped us hold Waterloo Bridge so long, and someone paid for our publicity materials and sound systems. I’m not complaining. Just because they’re rich doesn’t mean they want their kids to die.

      • mog

        the XR activists aren’t about that.
        I am not suggesting that they are, but,
        What are they about ?
        I mean in terms of actual, realisable actions, what was talked about down there?
        As Tim Hayward tweeted today :
        Extinction Rebellion demands that UK government (and others) ‘halt biodiversity loss by 2025’. So what exactly must be done? The organisers also declare that the rebellion shall be apolitical, so who are they expecting to do what needs to be done?
        Something ‘apolitical’ could quite readily be an effective front for business interests to exert power, no ?
        Urgent action is required, so let’s get the investment firms in to make the hard decisions ?
        You get the concern of eco-socialists ? The climate collapse doesn’t magic away all the complexities of societal hierarchy, inequality and power relations

        • Clark

          Don’t ask me; I’m tired enough after living in a tent on a traffic island for a week, saving your arses. Get down to your local XR group and engage in a People’s Assembly for yourself. Everyone’s crew, and we need everyone.

          • Clark

            Check out Alim and Karl Lam. This stuff is being worked on, but politics is no longer a spectator sport. It’s like Wikipedia; get involved, or stop whining.

          • mog

            Why are you on here writing if you don’t want to discuss it?
            saving your arses
            I doubt it, but that is what I am trying to figure out.
            Get down to your local XR group
            Been there, done that.
            Just nothing.

          • mog

            stop whining
            I’m not.
            stop gloating.
            I’ve been involved in climate protest and action for thirty years. I don’t believe that XR is anything rebellious or useful to the cause that I have followed for three decades.

          • Clark

            Oh. Look, I’m not up to in-depth discussion right now. Were you at this action, in London? Because I experienced something utterly unique there; it’s rare to find myself accepted as a whole person; grief, frustration and tears included. And the public support was immense; far more encouragement than criticism, and 30,000 new members joined during this action, we were signing them 30 times faster than we were being arrested. I have never seen such dedication, nor such cooperation and acceptance between such a diversity of people.

            So I come on here when I get home and mostly I find a bunch of grumpy old men nit-picking, disparaging all the effort and progress I have made and experienced. So I could be forgiven for thinking they’re all just 77th Brigade.

          • mog

            Big group actions are quite a trip.
            Sentiment is important. Solidarity and mutual support, people power. I get it.
            It’s not the only thing though.
            Sentiment and a logo without clear, consistent ideas is just branding.
            Reading your views here and hearing about friends who have come back ‘transformed’ is only confirming to me that XR is image and no substance, emotion and no ideas.
            Meanwhile a whole new engagement from the powerful forces of capitalism is taking place. The ideas are there in Business XR. The green movement seems to be going neoliberal, and if you, like me believe that neoliberalism is really a form of fascism with a contemporary make over, then that is concerning to say the least.

          • Clark

            Mog, I’ve bookmarked your link, and I see what it’s about.

            Personally I don’t know if capitalist and market activities are inherently destructive or oppressive. I’m far more concerned about environmental catastrophe than about political ideology. If some ‘capitalists’ want to develop environmentally beneficial business activities, I’m in favour of that, seeing as the entire Western world is operating within a capitalist system anyway. I’m certainly opposed to any exclusion of more ‘socialist’ approaches.

            I don’t really understand left vs. right animosity. It seems to me like the old territorial instincts as applied to ideology; each ‘side’ feels it has to ‘defeat’ the other like some sort of football match, and seems to pale into insignificance if the entire pitch and stadium are about to become uninhabitable.

        • Grhm

          So, you are saying that we must await the dawning of socialist utopia before we can act against this threat?
          I’m glad our grandparents didn’t take that attitude in 1940.

    • Ken Kenn

      Of course there is ‘ Green Capitalism ‘ just like water is ‘ Capitalist ‘ controlled.

      Water will become the new oil and worth a lot more per gallon if we let it be of course.

      It’s not beyond the wit of humanity to realise what is precious/valuable ( in the sense of necessity not price sense ) and what is not.

      Neither is it beyond knowledge for humanity to work our way round distribution of these precious assets and perhaps hutch up when the seas are rising and re -organise the world into some sort of humanitarian agreement on the basis that we are all human beings and if we want to survive the rigours of nature then we have to co-operate and not discriminate as to who gets what on the basis of income or affordability.

      The groupthink seems to be ; ” It’s ours ” – No it is is not, it is all OURS it belongs to ALL of us – not some of us.

      If humanity doesn’t get that thought out of its head all that will happen is that those who can afford to move will move to where they can
      get/buy and those that can’t will die.

      There are more that can’t than can.

      You and me are one of those unless you win the Euromilions Lottery.

      What arwe the chances of that happening?

      • Clark

        Don’t worry about it too much is my advice. Each person’s environmental impact is essentially proportional to their wealth; the old self-justification of “those less wealthy than me are just jealous” is rendered obsolete; patently ridiculous.

  • Aloha

    From XR website:
    “We do not trust our Government to make the bold, swift and long-term changes necessary to achieve these changes and we do not intend to hand further power to our politicians. Instead we demand a Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes, as we rise from the wreckage, creating a democracy fit for purpose.”

    I am starting to get excited!!! Is it possible that we could just FIRE all of our government officials in the UK, Canada, USKKK, Africa, Israel, etc… by shutting the whole place down for a week or two and create a new world government for the people?

    • Clark

      We don’t fire them. We prove that the Citizens’ Assemblies make better proposals (or indeed any proposals at all), and the old ways just become an irrelevance. Find your nearest XR group and join in!

    • mog

      Is it possible that we could just FIRE all of our government officials in the UK, Canada, USKKK, Africa, Israel, etc… by shutting the whole place down for a week or two and create a new world government for the people?
      Sounds so simple. What could possibly go wrong ?

    • ADKC

      Why would you want to end a system that allows you to vote for your representative and replace it with a system that would be run by rich elites and corporations? If you haven’t the wherewithal to improve the current system what makes you imagine that you have what it takes to destroy what exists and replace it with something better? Don’t you see it’s just the wolves getting the turkeys to demand Christmas everyday!

        • ADKC

          As Extinction Rebellion state “as we rise from the wreckage” – it is clearly about destruction. But they aren’t doing anything and not building anything worthwhile either. It’s just big money, rich elites and corporations – those most responsible for the excess emissions of greenhouse gases – and you imagine they are doing something real to tackle man-made climate change, I’m afraid that you are deluding yourself.

          With regard to “we are building a replacement”, what Extinction Rebellion and, I suppose, you are talking about is overthrowing the existing system/government in the UK. This is naive, both in what you think you can achieve and, also, the likely consequences (should you somehow mange it). This is just the language of colour protests and revolutions – there are now plenty of examples around the world of how this turns out and it doesn’t look particularly great to me. Anyway, if you’re serious I would suggest that you start martial-arts, combat and weapons training, because you’ll need it.

          George Soros and Open Society Initiative are behind the colour revolutions; I don’t suppose they’re funding “Extinction Revolution”, in some way?

          • Grhm

            Not at all.

            XR’s three, clearly-defined, demands of government are:

            (1) Tell the truth about the urgency of the crisis we face and declare a ‘Climate Emergency’.
            (2) Reduce our net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025.
            (3) Establish a Citizen’s Assembly to direct and oversee this.

            This is not head-in-the-clouds anarchist/ultra-left fantasy stuff, but neither is it weasel-worded vacuous corporate drivel.

            Your cynicism is misplaced.

          • Helen Steen

            ExR may be the means to sway the public towards accepting the change to a carbon/natural capital economy. Gov. policy on land use management is already to apply the ecosystems management approach (ESA).

            ‘The ESA is a strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way’. (The Convention on Biological Diversity 1994)

            The mechanisms for valuation of “nature” are being thought up by this lot…. TEEB… ‘making nature’s value visible’ http://www.teebweb.org/about/the-initiative/

            I write ‘thought up’ instead of calculated because it can not be done in practice and ethically NC / ecosystems approach is the pinnacle of a utilitarian environmental ethic ..that which got us here in the first place and a natural capital economy will in MHO only accelerate out demise.

          • mog

            colour revolutions

            It comes from something refered to as the Non Profit Industrial Complex, and yes, the organising structure of XR and the Greta Thunberg phenomenon are embedded within it.
            This is how capital works in the modern age. Soft power, nudging, astro turf groups.
            Avaaz, 350.org, Greenpeace, these are power broker organisations with executives who move through a revolving door with transnational corporations. Whether you like it or not you have to accept it as true. This is what Cory Morningstar’s work illustrated in painstaking detail, and what few people want to talk about. Hillary Clinton, the CBI, the Bank of England, Barak Obama, are all on board backing XR.
            Think about that.
            This is an old debate, that didn’t get enough airtime : do we try and reform these enormous corporate entities or do we work to overthrow the whole system and create something new.
            It is a choice between ecoliberalsim and ecosocialism.

          • Grhm

            So, what exactly are you suggesting we do, Mog?
            Are you advocating that we overthrow capitalism and create a worldwide socialist utopia first before we start taking action to try to avert or lessen the impending climate catastrophe?
            If so, that is unhinged.
            …but if not, what?

  • Aule Valar

    Steam is not a greenhouse gas in any way that matters – it will just rain down some time later as water, unlike CO2 which stays in the armosphere. Nuclear plants do no contribute to warming and produce very little pollution. Opposing them on ecological grounds before other thermo (except geothermal) generation is just silly.

    Germany closes down it’s nuclear power generation. Where do you thing it gets it’s energy now? From gas and coal, duh. I don’t think I need to say which cntributes to warming more, do I?

    • Clark

      I think there were some great reactor designs that were not developed, but that was then.

      With sixty years of development, nuclear power provides 10% of the world’s electricity. Twenty years of development, and solar provides 20% of the world’s electricity. I know where I’d put my money. Next, we need to grid up, internationally. War will be unthinkable, because every country of the world will be essential to the global grid.

      • HoBoJo

        Sorry, your numbers niggled me, so I had to check because they feel badly off and no-one else seems to have noticed.

        IEA OECD numbers. In 2016 nuclear was 18% of electricity production. Combined renewables – so solar, wind and tides was 8.2%. Since solar only accounts for around one third the amount of electricity generated by wind – solar alone would be somewhere less than 2% of electricity production – so you’d be out on both numbers by a long way. https://www.iea.org/newsroom/energysnapshots/oecd-electricity-production-by-source-1974-2016.html

        For just the EU in 2017: Nuclear supplied 2450TWh compared to Solar PV: 113TWh (ie solar is about 5% of nuclear).

        My guess is that you might have seen numbers with hydroelectrics (13%) being combined with general renewables which would have a combined ‘green’ output of around 20% without knowing that solar is less than one tenth of this total. The alternative is that renewables have the problem that press reports always report as nameplate capacity, not as actual production output which causes further confusion. Large expensive plants in Africa are always heralded with the capacity figure, never the actually output figure.

        • Observer

          Thanks for setting that out. The numbers did look more than a little suspicious.

        • Clark

          HoBoJo, thanks for checking the figures; your guess is probably correct. But also check the rate of rise in solar and wind, and also check the lead times; if the new EPR reactors are anything to go by, renewables can supply power in a much shorter time, and we need to be quick.

    • Laguerre

      You don’t have to live downwind of a nuclear station, as many in France do. once one of those blows, it’s permanent pollution. You can’t go back.

    • Bill Thomson

      Aule; Germany gets its energy from the Czech Republic’s nuclear power stations since they shut down their own.

  • FranzB

    CM – “Flying is a major contributor to pollution …..”

    Not sure what to make of this, but assuming by ‘pollution’ CM is talking about greenhouse gases, which is the point at discussion here, then …..

    Transportation accounts for about 14% of the total of greenhouse gases emitted p.a. Aviation accounts for about 11% of the tranportation area, i.e aviation accounts for (0.11 x 0.14 = 0.0151) about 1.5% of the total of greenhouse gases emitted p.a. Road transport (cars and commercial) accounts for about 10% of the total of greenhouse gases emitted. Note that the UK accounts for about 1.2% of the total of greenhouse gas emissions p.a., whereas China accounts for 26%.


    • Clark

      Gauging by country is misleading; each Chinese person is a minor emitter, and China’s emissions are mainly from manufacturing for export.

      Generally, it’s the richest people who are the greatest emitters, no matter where they happen to live. The same goes for other environmental degradation.

      • Observer

        Clark you are denying the maths.

        Plus, “China’s emissions are mainly from manufacturing for export.” is meaningless. China’s emissions are mainly from economic and consumption activities to sustain their own people, including putting food on the table for their own people.

        What do you have to say about the West pitching in to help countries like China and the substantially poorer country, India?

        • Clark

          I’m entirely in favour of the richer economies supporting the greening of the poorer economies. It is essential if the crisis is to be mitigated substantially.

          I wasn’t engaging with the maths of that comment, just pointing out that reckonings by national boundaries are arbitrary. Per capita, the Chinese population has low emissions.

    • ADKC

      It is an attempt to shift the “responsibility” and “blame” on to “individuals” when anyone who looks at the data would see that it is big organisations and industries that are largely responsible.

  • Hippos Extinct

    [ MOD: Please keep to a simple handle, not a slogan ]

    “By contrast, the massively expensive nuclear power projects should be scrapped immediately.”

    So what’s the exact proper price-point to save the human species (and thousands of others in this current human-caused extinction event)?

    Anyone who talks about expense, dollars, economics with regards to dealing with climate change is NOT AT ALL SERIOUS.

  • Hinker McGraw

    “I lived almost all my adult life under the impression nuclear energy involved some fiendishly clever technology, until I realised it generates from bog standard steam turbines, and the nuclear part is simply a ludicrously complicated, incredibly expensive and devastatingly dangerous way to – boil water.'”

    This is embarrassingly stupid. You obviously aren’t an actual environmentalist and have no clue what global warming is or what causes it. Do you even know what energy is; what ways humans use to harness it and distribute it; which damage the environment (and humans) more than others?

    Jesus Christ.

    [ ‘Hinker McGraw’ = ‘ Hippos Extinct’ = ‘HippoDave’ ]

    • Republicofscotland

      Fukishima and Chernobyl, are prime examples of why nuclear is not the way forward.

      Greedy corporations will if allowed push nuclear safety to the limit. The China Syndrome springs to mind.

      “More than 350 cracks have been discovered in Hunterston B’s nuclear reactor, pushing the total over government safety limits.”


      • Hinker McGraw

        The Fukushima “Disaster” killed 0 people. Well, the nuclear “disaster”. The actual disaster was the 18,000 dead from the tsunami. Yet the reaction wasn’t calls for the Japanese to move their populations away from the coast, was it? Instead it was focused on the nuclear plant, which was irrelevant.

        The Banquiao Dam burst and killed 500,000 people. Coal killed hundreds of thousands in direct accidents last century. If lives-saved is the reason to promote or quash particular power generation methods, then hydro and coal have to be shut down way before nuclear.

        And to be blunt, would you rather have an energy system that killed 10,000,000 a year yet caused zero harmful environmental effects, or one that killed 0 a year yet caused enormous harm to the environment?

        People who go on about meltdowns are as unserious and/or irrational as people who go on about costs. Global warming is a very serious threat. Local deaths are a) relatively irrelevant, and b) even if relevant again, nuclear is safer than most others (and I believe safer historically even than wind/solar due to accidents).

        [ ‘Hinker McGraw’ = ‘ Hippos Extinct’ = ‘HippoDave’ ]

  • Donnywho

    I am in general against nuclear power. But it is nuclear power as it stands. Liquid salt thorium reactors are non pressurised and quite literally walk away safe. Thorium is abundant and because it is suspended in a liquid format the reactions can burn out most of the long lasting radioactive elements. This leaves waste with a half life of hundreds of years… not hundreds of thousands. It produces process heat at higher temperatures that can be used for co2 turbines which are much more efficient. What is more they can be made in factories as small modular units.

    They have one huge downside they are very bad at producing weapons grade byproducts like plutonium. Which is why we have the particularly shite systems we have today… they make great bombs!

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Perhaps we need to engineer ways of doing everthing we already do but using less energy.

    • Observer


      Materially speaking, everything boils down to the guns v butter matter. Psychologically, inwardly, speaking it all boils down to the ignorance by which we humans have systemised man killing man and the monstrous machinery of the military industrial complex (which puts many of our other problems in the shade).

      XR can yell as loud as it wants.

    • Clark

      The sorts of reactors you describe can make plutonium – basically just put U238 in the breeding blanket instead of thorium – but who’d want to? The stuff’s a liability.

  • Natasha

    There’s not enough land in the UK for 100% renewables: like it or not if we’re serious about tackling Big Fossil & CO2 human beings have to have nuclear power in the mix.

    Eg, if 1/3 of the land in the UK (70,000km2) was devoted to renewables only 1/3 of the energy the UK needs could be generated, even if we simultaneously reduced our kWh/day/person average from the 2009 level of 125kWh/d/p to 70kWh/d/p. At that level we’d need 35,000km2 of solar panels (UK area = 249,000km2) and circa same again for bio fuels. Or a copper wire to the Sahara desert.

    Sustainable Energy — without the hot air 2009 – page 215

    The UK’s fleet of gen3 nuclear reactors use only c2% of the available energy, the rest is in the waste, c120tones stored at Sellafield. GE/Hitachi have designed PRISM a gen4 nuclear power solution that burns the remaining 98% of the energy in the gen3 waste. It’ll also turn nuclear weapons into electricity. GE/Hitachi have offered the UK gov NO upfront public plant commissioning costs: GE/Hitachi will make their £ selling the electricity generate from burning the gen3 waste enough for 500+ years or so of all UK power. A PRISM or similar gen4 plant could have a chemical plant built next to it and produce CO2 neural jet fuel, fertilizer, hydrogen, as well as electricity on the grid etc.

    Nuclear power is also has least deadly the track record:-

    Energy Source Mortality Rate (deaths/millionGWhr)
    Coal global average ……….170,000
    Coal China ……………………. 280,000
    Coal U.S. ………………………..15,000
    Oil ………………………………… 36,000
    Natural Gas ………………….. 4,000
    Biofuel/Biomass …………… 24,000
    Solar (rooftop) ……………… 440
    Wind ……………………………. 150
    Hydro global average …… 1,400
    Nuclear worst case estimates ….. 90
    Chernobyl ……………. 47
    Nuclear – commercial power plants only rest of the world ….. 0

    The anti-nuclear lobby doesn’t do maths and has been fooling people with irrational fears for too long.

    Craig, if you dislike nuclear, fine, but I challenge you to do the maths and face up to what the real political, technological and economic impacts are of your plan, and post your results as another blog post.


    • Dave

      Yes the nuclear lobby is one of the range of interests promoting the scam, as it makes expensive allegedly carbon free nuclear power an alternative to fossil fuels. The Government goes along with this as they want nuclear power to provide the skills to renew Trident and hide the astronomical cost within fuel bills.

      Hence climate change is being used as the cover story to promote a very real threat to humanity from nuclear proliferation.

      • Natasha

        Dave, First, “nuclear proliferation” is a weapons issue NOT a power generation issue. Second, Molten Salt Reactors, (as being built in China now) are one of the generation IV nuclear power solutions that will by design not produce weapon’s grade material as a by product of civilian power generation, unlike legacy already deployed gen3 nuclear power tech, eg PWRs and thus help to eliminate “nuclear proliferation” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_IV_reactor#Molten-salt_reactor_(MSR). Third, generation IV reactors can burn nuclear weapons to generate civilian energy. Forth, “nuclear proliferation” is a political issue, not a manufacturing one. Fifth, you claim “allegedly carbon free nuclear power” evidence please, or you are just posting yet more unsubstantiated personal opinions.

      • michael norton

        Completely agree Dave,
        Nuclear Power is in lock step with the MIC
        You don’t have Nuclear Deterrence without a Nuclear Electricity Industry.

        • Natasha

          Michael norton claims that “Nuclear Power is in lock step with the MIC” and that therefore “You don’t have Nuclear Deterrence without a Nuclear Electricity Industry.”

          But this no longer true. Not all nuclear power technology yields weapons grade material. In fact generation IV Nuclear Reactors are being designed to eliminate proliferation:-

          “… [they] represent advances in sustainability, economics, safety, reliability and proliferation-resistance … After some two years’ deliberation and review of about one hundred concepts, late in 2002 GIF (then representing ten countries) announced the selection of six reactor technologies which they believe represent the future shape of nuclear energy. These were selected on the basis of being clean, safe and cost-effective means of meeting increased energy demands on a sustainable basis, while being resistant to diversion of materials for weapons proliferation and secure from terrorist attacks. They are the subject of further development internationally, with expenditure of about $6 billion over 15 years. About 80% of the cost is being met by the USA, Japan and France.”


    • nevermind

      To what renewables are you alluding to requiring a lot of land, Natasha?
      Photo voltaics should be on every new house by law.
      Tidal energy has not been tried.
      Sea current generators are in their infancy.
      compressed water and air has not been realised in this country.
      wind energy should be openef up for community projects as on the continent.
      heat exchange pumps are installef in many places.

      Most important, passive housing and fully insulated public properties as well as the requirement by law for all housing to be passively heated would stop the excess energy from houses being used.

      We are profligate with energy and could reduce our need for it by a quarter without noticing the difference.

      • Natasha

        nevermind asks

        Q:”To what renewables are you alluding to requiring a lot of land, Natasha?”

        A: Solar, wind and biofuel. With no nuclear power in the mix, and no copper wires to the Sahara desert, renewables increase land use to politically, practically, and environmentally unacceptable levels.

        I gave a link to the source of the claim that renewables use a lot of land.
        Sustainable Energy — without the hot air 2009 – page 215

        In particular (and to answer your question further) UK land area = 249,000km2. If we reduced our kWh/day/person average from the 2009 level of 125kWh/d/p (per day per person) to 70kWh/d/p [then] at that level we’d need 35,000km2 of solar voltaic. For 100% energy from land based wind power we’d need 90,000km2. For 100% of UK energy from bio fuels we’d need 1,000,000km2.

        At 125kWh/d/p 100% energy from solar farms = 62,000km2 of UK land, and wind = 154,000km2 of land. For 100% energy from offshore wind would use up 60,000km2 of sea. From tidal lagoons 80,000km2. For tidal streams 63,000km2.

        Solar thermal / voltaic on every roof would net very little, maybe 5% of UK demand.

        “Tidal energy … Sea current generators” they are not very efficient. To get circa 30% of UK demand at 70kWh/d/p levels, 6,300km2 of sea and estuary waters would be needed.

        “compressed water and air” are storage not generation and are very inefficient indeed.

        “heat exchange” is great but still needs power, but is low grade so only relevant to domestic heating.

        The other efficiencies you cite are already built into the data above, i.e. its assumed by the reduction from 2009 levels of 125kW/p/d to 70kW/p/d. Note the figures I cite are estimates that give a good feel for the ‘size’ of the land problem that 100% renewables in the UK require us to face up to. Its seems very obvious to me that the anti-nuclear lobby are failing at their maths.

      • Natasha

        I gave a link to the source of “Nuclear worst case estimates ….. 90” if you dispute the maths used by the source, then please do tell us your grounds – if you have any?

  • nicks

    The climate certainly changes, but the mankind’s share in it is a guess light years away from any semblance of certainty and decency. If one feels something monumental should be done at once, there’s the only solution, easy and pleasant – military dictatorship. Private retail, air flights, private car ownership, shipping outlawed overnight with no prior notice.
    Hopefully the result will follow in a decade. It may as well not. Everything else is a fantasy at best.

  • Hieroglyph

    Yeah, my only honest answer is that, basically, I no longer have a clue. I’ve always accepted that if 99% of boffins say that man made climate change is real, I should believe them. However, that’s actually an argument from authority, so not an especially wise position to hold. I fear that, like me, many of these activists don’t really have a clue either, and are merely following a narrative.

    So, I don’t know. Data has been manipulated, provably so, and Al Gore was wrong about pretty much everything, but that’s not really proof of either position. And science is a method, not a consensus. If this all makes me a climate change sceptic, so be it. I’m happy for that to be my position until I understand it all far better.

    One thing has always bothered me. Why does there have to be those stupid non-enforceable treaties? We are a world of nations. If Australia wants to move to a different type of grid, with sustainable power like solar contributing heavily, we can do that, if the political will is there. We don’t need a treaty. Such treaties, shall we say, can be viewed as a globalist trojan horse, if one is of a cynical bent.

    • pretzelattack

      no, data has not been “manipulated” except in standard scientific ways; there is no scientific conspiracy. al gore is not a scientist, and his film was broadly correct. the consensus was arrived at via applying scientific methods, not as a “beauty contest” or “my favorite ice cream” poll. if you haven’t learned enough about the science in the past 2 decades to spot your own fallacies, i’m not sure you ever will.

      • DiggerUK

        Data has been manipulated, that truth is well known.
        *Michael Mann and the fraud of the hockey stick.
        *The misrepresentation of surveys of polar bears that claimed they were heading to extinction.
        *The outlandish claims that accompanied the video of a dying polar bear “due to climate change” which lead to National Geographic apologising.
        *University of East Anglia and ‘Climeategate’

        If the science has proved the case for Anthropogenic Climate Change, why the falsehoods and deceit…_

        • pretzelattack

          nope. the hockey stick study has been replicated numerous times. polar bears are endangered. “climategate” was a faked scandal based on cherrypicked lines in cherrypicked emails, and investigated numerous times. this is all just fossil fuel company bullshit.

        • James Charles

          “Since the hockey stick paper in 1998, there have been a number of proxy studies analysing a variety of different sources including corals, stalagmites, tree rings, boreholes and ice cores. They all confirm the original hockey stick conclusion: the 20th century is the warmest in the last 1000 years and that warming was most dramatic after 1920.”

    • Clark

      Hieroglyph, the icecaps are melting away. The three-decade warning which science gave us was squandered by the fossil fuel companies’ bullshit, which still resonates across the Internet and in the corporate media.

  • Antonym

    The Greta Thunberg movers (mother etc.) follow the same play book as for the Syria girl Bana-al-Abed used from 2015 on wards, with one crucial difference: “Bana” twittered at age 9 (!!!): Dear world, it’s better to start 3rd world war instead of letting Russia & assad commit #HolocaustAleppo https://archive.is/20161203133922/https://twitter.com/alabedbana/status/781597903924125697#selection-3943.0-3951.15

    Bana at wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bana_al-Abed

  • giyane

    Nothing going to change without lateral thinking. Picking the scab off climate change is not going to solve it without removing Tory profit-obsession , big state , top down government. The use of false flags like the right wing mutter in NZ or Daesh in Syria is the Tory sticking plaster for total destruction of the planet.

    While you are busy thinking about the outrage of illegal war and the murder of children in cold blood, the Tories want to expand Heathrow airport where a plane lands or takes off every minute of every day or night.

    How is this managed? By stoking up outrage by false flags. There is only one way to address climate change, which is, to address the Tory lie that the 2007 financial meltdown was caused by the Labour party.

    You’ll never solve anything by moderating every thought back into its own tiny box

  • Bill Thomson

    If CO2 was a serious issue surely they would have banned beer, carbonated drinks and composting or at least someone would be campaigning for a ban. There is no place for yeast in a modern utopia.

    • DiggerUK

      The CO2 used to dispense beer, and carbonate fizzy drinks, isn’t taken from the air as a form of ‘carbon dioxide capture’, its manufactured in a chemical process……adding to our carbon footprint! So that’s the next XR demand, STOP DRINKING….Doh…_

      • Alyson

        Carbon dioxide is what gives our ready meals a long shelf life. So not just in fizzy stuff, but in every prepackaged vacuum sealed meal. Organic is good for the environment, recycling nutrients and growing mixed crops, but this is only possible on a small scale. Building new homes with gardens, flats with balconies, and planting trees along our streets and in our parks would hark back to the great Victorian town planners. Bermondsey for example had schools, parks, allotments, shops and doctors surgeries, all planned per capita and per number of streets to meet local need. We should include local energy hubs today. Also we have passed peak stuff. We must include decommissioning costs for everything we make and sell. This requires radical new thinking from quick profit to preserving what is needed. Machines can do much of the work including dismantling and reconstituting stuff, and humans can create better communities.

    • Bill Thomson

      Michael; Interesting link. I came to the opposite conclusion (children’s diet) through casual observation. For a couple of summers in the mid seventies I was exposed to a new group of around five or six vegetarians each week, mainly active males.
      The men in their thirties who had been brought up as vegies tended to be very poor specimens whereas the guys in their fifties, sixties and seventies who had converted later in life tended to be in petty good shape.
      Not scientific, but an observation.

  • Jones

    Few Mp’s could be bothered to turn up for the climate debate in parliament, Extinction Rebellion has protest say it is an emergency and we must act now with only 12 years to save the planet, Greta Thunberg invited to house of commons and gives speech to a packed room, MP’s either have change of heart and develop a conscience or like the public image of being seen with a popular 16 year old, Michael Gove claiming to feel guilty for not doing enough to combat climate change while Ed Miliband says government should declare a climate emergency, Extinction Rebellion on twitter claims protest has officially worked with a link to express.co.uk to back it up. So presumably with time being short the speed of drastic action MP’s will now take to combat this emergency will prove whether MP’s are genuine in caring more about the planet than their public image.

  • Raskolnikov

    I doubt that if the entire UK population would commit suicide today this would even make a difference of more than a couple percent in CO2 levels, let alone that it would change anything to the temperature trends. So, I can’t feel any sympathy for the sense of urgency and fatalism that these people demonstrate.

    We definitely should do something, throwing a temper tantrum is not one of those things.

    • DiggerUK

      “a difference of more than a couple percent in CO2 levels”
      Are you predicting salvation or Armageddon? There is only %0.0405 CO2 in the atmosphere now…_

      • Raskolnikov

        I’m sorry if this is brutal, but you should learn the difference between percentage and percentage points.

        • Charles Bostock


          Just as a matter of interest, is there a lot of discussion of climate change and global warning over on the blog you usually appear on (ie, The Lifeboat News Boardhost)?

          • Raskolnikov

            Never heard of it. “Raskolnikov” is the surname of a fictional character : Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, protagonist of Crime and Punishment. Anyone could be using that pseudonym.

    • DiggerUK

      “a difference of more than a couple of percent in CO2 levels”
      Are you predicting salvation or Armageddon? There is only %0.0405% CO2 in the atmosphere today…_

  • giyane

    In spite of the micro-generation scheme many professional electricians who would like to install solar pv panels are unable to do so, and many customers of those who are registered with the scheme are having to fork out for maintenance of their system.

    The first thing you must do as a pv installer is to sign up to selling interest-based loans and guaranteeing them with insurance policies. PPI? Talking with people who have had them installed the original installers soon go bust and the guarantees are taken over by a different company, who tyre-kick your system and tell you your rooftop micro-inverters are faulty and your voltage under par and it’ll all cost another £ 2000 to fix after taking out a new warranty agreement. No doubt the parts cost nothing, but by the time they have been imported, tariffed, stored, capitalised, installed 5 meters on a sloping egg-shell on top of your house…..
    As a practical person I would never install anything that was not maintainable. As an ethical person I would never install anything on a roof that was more than 10 years old because it’s got to last 25 years after having been walked on by flyby night contractors. I wouldn’t sell someone a 5 year component with a warranty for 25 years which can’t be maintained without great difficulty.

    When I worked on commercial air con units we were stripping out 12 year old units which were exhausted. they may be cheap to manufacture in some Far Eastern country, but they’re not cheap to service in Thatcher-fucked Britain. Would you buy a car and not service it for 12 years even though you had used it hot or cold , all day, every day ?
    Solar thermal panels come in many different designs but if you’re driving a 2002 car like me, are you going to be able to afford a 2019 solar DHW system that can withstand temperatures from -20C to + 100C.

    I formed my green company in 2009 but the only green things I’ve ever done are to 1/ live in a terraced house, 2/ insulate my outside walls internally, 3/ double glazing,4/ woodburner which now stands condemned by Borogove and 5/ upgraded my boiler ( cost £100 secondhand.

    Craig is 100% right in saying that the Tories are responsible for back-peddling on energy conservation to the extent that the economies of scale of mass production and installation have never been achieved.
    All of that failure is as a result of their liberalisation of banking regulation which cost this country the entire economy. The Tories are like the Jehovah’s Witnesses knocking on the Asian doors hoping to find a buyer for their fantasies. I am a qualified electrician but for 20 years I have worked on a zero hours basis in the construction industry. I don’t know why I climbed into this dustbin 20 years ago. I suppose being used and abused by an industry and a government feels better than being in an office and using and abusing other people, to a simple soul like me.

  • TonyM

    10 things that would make Edinburgh (and other cities) cleaner and more healthy that would not cost much to implement

    1 Stagger working hours. Shops encouraged to open later. Such as 11am till 8pm. As it stands shops are open when people are at work and closed when they leave, A more continental approach is needed rather than everyone rushing to use the roads at once.
    2 Re-open suburban railway line for passengers and introduce cheap yearly passes for local people that work on all forms of local public transport.
    3 Force all hotels, bars, eating places, shops, milk deliveries etc to return to glass bottles for all liquids which are washed and reused.
    4 Refuse collection, shop deliveries and the like are to be done at night to reduce lorries on roads.
    5 Turn off traffic lights at night on roundabouts and modify sequencing as to not hold vehicles idling for unnecessary long periods.
    6 Provide more free forms of transport such as bikes or e-scooters as in other counties
    7 Reduce tour bus companies down to 2 and ban them at peak times. Who needs a tour at 830am??
    8 Subsidise or provide interest free loans to private taxi owners to change to electric ones. As it stands they face a 55 grand bill to change to electric.
    9 Burn more rubbish for energy and heat, as in other countries
    10 Give people money back when they recycle glass, plastic etc, as in other countries.

    i could go on, but i am sure you get the point, i hope someone from the council reads this!!!!

  • Mary Pau!

    In theory nuclear power is a clean way to generate a lot of power. The problem is when it is incorrectly installed, maintained or malfunctions. This can be a major disaster. And their track records shows the authorities cannot be trusted to safeguard the public or tell them the truth (Sellafield, Chernobyl, Fukushima.) This has made it widely distrusted.

  • Andyoldlabour

    We should definitely be investing in more solar energy schemes, particularly in the warmer areas of the World. A solar generating facility, just 0.39% of the area known as North Africa, could provide all the energy for the EU. What are the installation/maintenance costs for a solar enery facility?


    • DiggerUK

      “just 0.39% of the area known as North Africa, could provide all the energy for the EU”

      What kind of arrogant eco imperialism is this? Has anybody asked those who live there for their opinion? How will those who live there benefit? Who will make the money from these schemes? Or shall we just tell them what we want and demand they comply?

      What will you propose if the ‘offer’ is turned down; send in the Foreign Office with their Green NGO chums and threaten them with ‘Greenboat Diplomacy’…_

      • Andyoldlabour


        Where do I mention anything about simply exploiting these countries, they are a vital, potential resource and we would pay for it, helping to make them more wealthy, and most importantly stopping the reliance on fossil fuels.
        I am staunchly anti imperialism, but at the same time would like to see us helping countries to improve, rather than simply giving foreign aid/money which is mostly used to buy arms.

    • giyane


      It’s difficult to imagine a non-Zionist world in which Muslim countries could trade their resources at fair prices without zionist-backed terrorists cutting the pipelines or mains cables.

      There are no politicians left in Britain who don’t grovel to the Zionists whose answer to every problem is to dispatch another wave of terror Islamist to finish off the unfinished work of their former bonkers Islamists.

      Il’a un endroit dans la France ou les alligateurs dansent. UN ne dansait pas. So they kicked him in the pants..

      Apart from that an excellent idea. Where do we use? Northern Ireland?

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    The population of Japan fell by 450,000 last year. Average life time birth rate to sustain steady state population is 2.1, rate in Japan is 1.4. Next year, population decline will be half a million plus. Cumulative effect will have hamlets and villages disappear and rewilding take their place.
    Birth rate in South Korea is 1.27.
    Average birth rate for the planet is 2.4 but there are some surprising countries below the steady state rate. Brazil is 1.65.
    India of course has a huge and growing population but the birth rate is 2.3 and falling by 0.1 pa. Gender imbalance in India is a significant contributor to falling birth rates so the trend has more than one driving factor.
    The UN estimates peak human population at 11 billion by the end of the century. Other studies put the peak at 9 billion by the middle of the century.
    I would not dismiss the issue of increased CO2 in the atmosphere but there are technical fixes that can be applied. I would have greater concern regarding plastics and bio-resilient toxins that we are actively dumping into the ecosphere with no understanding of the consequences other than a general acknowledgement that things do not bode well.

    • Dave

      Yes the old Ecology party was endearingly eccentric, but they had a central message of population control, but this was dropped when they were taken over by the Euro-Marxist Greens (the Melons) following collapse of Soviet Union.

      And this happened because in Britain there was population control if not counting immigration. I.e. to avoid talking about immigration they dropped population control, because they were more red than green.

  • Greg Park

    Most tin-eared response to the XR protests: London’s anodyne mayor insisting that while he is “very worried” about climate change, it is now time to return to “business as usual”.

1 2 3 4 5 9

Comments are closed.